With less than two years before the next general election in 2021, a growing number of MPs have announced they will not run again for various reasons.
The MPs who have announced their exit include Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County), Judith Babirye (Buikwe Woman), Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Latif Sebaggala (Kawempe North), Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine (Kyadondo East), Nabilah Naggayi Sempala (Kampala Woman) and Zerubabel Nyiira (Buruli County).
Others, however, said they are yet to decide whether or not they will seek re-election. They include Vice-President Edward Ssekandi (Bukoto Central), First Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Moses Ali (Adjumani West), Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South), James Baba (Koboko County), Hilary Onek (Lamwo County), Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman) and Aboud Kitatta (Bukoto West).
Also undecided are Margaret Aleper (Kotido Woman), Wamai Wamanga (Mbale Municipality), Michael Werikhe (Bungokho South), Anifa Kawooya (Ssembabule Woman), James Akena (Lira Municipality), Stephen Mukitale (Buliisa County) and Syda Bumba (Nakaseke North).
With the development coming months after the removal of the age limit of 75 for presidential candidates, some observers are blaming the move on last year’s constitutional amendments.
In the aftermath of the vote, some analysts predicted a difficult time for some legislators, especially those who voted in favor of lifting the age limit.
However, the MPs we talked to cited the need to give other people a chance to represent their constituencies, while others cited age for deciding against running for political office in 2021.
BOBI WINE EYING PRESIDENCY
In Wakiso district, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine last month bid farewell to his voters, declaring he would not seek re-election. He has his eyes fixed on the presidency in 2021.
“I would like to tell you that this is the last time I am your MP. I will be challenging President Museveni in 2021,” he told a crowd in Kyadondo East.
The crowd had gathered on August 13 to commemorate the death of his former driver Yasin Kawuma. Kawuma was one of the causalities of the Arua fracas which was reportedly sparked off by the stoning of President Museveni’s motorcade in August last year.
To solidify his presidential ambitions, Kyagulanyi unveiled his regional co-ordinating team in July. The team had political leaders from various political parties including NRM, FDC, Jeema and Democratic Party.