* Museveni's huge poll win disputed by opposition
* President is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders
* Opposition leader will not rule out armed rebellion
By Barry Malone
KAMPALA, Feb 28 A member of Uganda's government
has proposed lengthening the presidential term to seven from
five years a week after President Yoweri Museveni extended his
25-year-rule in a disputed election.
The opposition, which says the election was a sham,
condemned the proposal and branded state minister James Kakooza
as "puppet" of the president.
Kakooza successfully proposed a motion to scrap a two-term
presidential limit in 2005, allowing Museveni to run again.
"The president has a manifesto but you waste two years
looking for re-election," Kakooza told Reuters on Monday. "Is it
practical that you can implement a manifesto in two years? Seven
years would be more time to deliver better service to the
Museveni, one of Africa's longest serving leaders, was
handed 68 percent of the vote by the electoral commission last
week with closest rival Kizza Besigye trailing on 26 percent.
Besigye, a former ally of Museveni, says the poll was flawed
by bribery, ballot box stuffing and intimidation and has called
for peaceful protests.
Kakooza said he would also propose reinstating the two-term
limit. If passed, his proposals would come into effect in 2016
when the country is due to vote again, he added.
Opposition politicians slammed the proposal on television
and in newspapers and some said the proposal was an attempt to
extend the president's rule by 14 years.
Museveni has said it is up to his National Resistance
Movement party to decide whether he will run again in 2016, by
which time Uganda is expected to be a top-50 oil producer.
Once hailed as a democrat, Museveni has been criticised over
moves -- including the initial scrapping of presidential terms
limits -- that opponents say signal the 67-year-old wants to be
president for life.
Kakooza denied the proposal was an attempt to extend
Museveni's rule "I'm not working for Museveni," he said. "I'm
working for a system of good governance. Anybody could win the
elections in 2016."
In an interview with the country's Daily Monitor newspaper
on Monday, Besigye, Museveni's field doctor during a five-year
civil war that thrust the president to power, said he would not
rule out an armed revolt against Museveni.
"I have never ruled out the use of arms to remove a
dictatorship," Besigye told the newspaper.
"The reason we are saying we should not go to war now is
because we think there are still other avenues to bring the
country back on the path of constitutional rule."
(Editing by Alison Williams)