From Discussion to Fist-fighting: Was Strategic Maneuvering Derailed during the Debate on the Presidential Age Limit Bill in Uganda?

Edith R Natukunda-Togboa


Of recent, due its impact on political events and socio-political processes like general elections and peace building, parliamentary discourse has become the object of research in Africa. In Uganda, in particular, at different times in the country’s history, it has been at the heart of fomenting conflict, but also key in fostering peace. It is of historic importance that we analyse how the controlled institutionalized parliamentary discourse during the presidential age limit debates degenerated to fist fighting and chair hurling in the Uganda Parliament. Using the pragma-dialectical, the rhetorical and linguistic approaches this study seeks to check the arguer’s commitment to pursuing a reasonable argumentation as s/he tries to discursively resolve the difference of opinion which is usually at the heart of parliamentary debates. Through a review of the atmosphere surrounding the presidential age limit debate and the two critical sessions of the relevant parliamentary discussions, the author tries to establish whether this discursive resolving of differences of opinion was achieved or whether there are factors that contributed to derailing the discursive strategic maneuvering. 

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English Linguistics Research
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