A bill brought by the ruling party in Uganda to extend the 31-year rule of President Yoweri Museveni has caused lawmakers to fight in parliament.
Dozens of lawmakers came to blows as members of the opposition party tried to stop the ruling body from passing a law removing the age cap from the presidency.
Punches and chairs were thrown as ministers fought on tables and across rows of seats before plainclothes secret service agents hauled members of the opposition from the main chamber of parliament, located in Kampala.
Ugandan law currently bans anyone over the aged of 75 from holding the country’s highest office, meaning current President Yoweri Museveni, 73, is ineligible to run in the next election.
But his party, the National Resistance Movement, has now brought a bill to scrap that law. Maximum term limits have already been removed, meaning the new rule change would allow leaders to rule indefinitely.
The National Resistance Movement holds a massive majority in parliament, meaning the law is almost certain to pass when it goes to a vote. Opposition leaders say Museveni, who has ruled the country since helping to overthrow previous Ugandan leaders Ugandan leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote, is attempting to establish a rule for life.
Museveni has so far refused to be drawn on whether or not he wants to run at the next election, saying that the issue is ‘not important’.
Police have violently broken up street demonstrations protesting the effort to amend the constitution, arresting scores since the past week. Erias Lukwago, the mayor of the Ugandan capital of Kampala, told reporters he is getting medical care after police officers allegedly ‘squeezed’ his genitals while arresting him outside his house last week.