KAMPALA, Uganda — President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill that removes a presidential age limit from the constitution, allowing him to run for reelection, deputy spokeswoman Linda Nabusayi confirmed Tuesday.
Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, is 73 and would have been ineligible to run in 2021. Now he could rule until 2031.
Critics in the East African nation saw the bill as an attempt by the president to rule until the grave. The nation’s constitution had precluded anyone younger than 35 or older than 75 from holding the presidency.
Museveni, who took power by force in 1986, is the latest in a string of African leaders who have tried to prolong their time in office by changing the constitution or other means. Leaders in more than 20 countries effectively do not face restrictions on their time in power, according to theAfrican Center for Strategic Studies.
A coalition of over 600 civil organizations protested Museveni’s signing of the bill.