Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has given the strongest signal that presidential election in his country due next year may not take place if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t ease.
He said in an interview broadcast on local NBS Television that “To have elections when the virus is still there… It will be madness.”
President Museveni says if the crisis isn’t brought under control by July this year, it would be important election program for Uganda is reviewed.
“It will be dangerous” he said signalling elections would only be safe to hold if the crisis is contained between June and July this year.
Uganda has confirmed 122 cases of coronavirus but yet to record any deaths.
Museveni who is 75-years-old is likely to run against at least 24 candidates who have all declared interest to run for president.
Outspoken lawmaker, 38-year-old musician Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine is one of the aspiring candidates for president.
Backing from ruling party
Last year Museveni’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement backed him to seek re-election in 2021.
The backing from the party meant he had been cleared to run for a sixth term as President.
Should Museveni contest the presidential election in 2021, he could potentially extend his tenure to 40 years.
In July 2018, a top court in Uganda ruled clearing the way for President Museveni to seek another term in office.
There was public outcry after the country’s parliament passed a resolution removing the presidential age limit.
The resolution removed the age limit of 75 years placed on presidential aspirants in Uganda. Museveni would have been disqualified from running in 2021 had the age limit remained.
Critics of the president, many of whom were from the opposition agitated over the scrapping of the presidential age limit.
President Museveni has been in power since 1986 after a five-year guerrilla war. He is one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders.