Uganda’s President May Not Sign Anti-Homosexuality Bill; Ssempa Involved in Stealth Plan to Pass Bill

According to Uganda’s New Vision, Ugandan president Yowari Museveni may not sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He told the NV that he would read it before he decides what to do.

While it may seem like such a course should not need to be stated, Museveni has not returned a bill to Parliament during this Parliament. Thus, his statement is a signal that he may depart from his usual practice.

Museveni could slow the bill down by sending the bill back to Parliament with suggestions. The Parliament could then send it to committee where it could remain indefinitely. If the Parliament returns the bill, Museveni can send it back again if he doesn’t like it. Eventually, if the Parliament returns it to him after a two-thirds vote (the second time around), the bill will become law. However, the Parliament could elect to allow the bill to remain in committee until the Parliament closes thereby allowing it to expire. For a detailed examination of the bill in the context of Uganda’s constitution, see this summary at Box Turtle Bulletin.

For a fascinating examination of the events surrounding the passage of the bill, view this video.

For more context of the passage of the bill, see this article in Uganda’s Observer. Note the role of Ugandan minister Martin Ssempa in hatching a plan to pass the bill in stealth mode. I hope the bill is challenged in court there and this information used to indicate how Parliament violated rules of procedure in order to prevent opposition from having their voice.

While I have yet to see the bill, the amendments are describe in the Observer article. I want to see the actual language before I concede that the death penalty has been removed, but it certainly seems likely that it has been. However, life in prison is practically a death sentence in Uganda.

UPDATE: Andrew Mwenda speaks out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on NTV last night.

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