Kampala: The government of Uganda`s President Yoweri Museveni, already one of Africa`s longest-serving leaders, Tuesday told the country`s opposition that it would have to wait until 2056 before it stood any chance of winning an election.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) "is in for a long journey with Ugandans" under 69-year-old Museveni, who has led the impoverished east African nation since 1986.
"However much the opposition tries, they will not win any elections because they do not have a proper programme for Uganda. Probably they will have to wait up to 2056, when they are mature enough," he said.
"It is under the capable leadership of President Museveni that Uganda for the first time is stable," he added.
The spokesman was replying to a question over a post on Twitter after an opinion poll showed Museveni as a clear favourite for elections in 2016 and in which he said the opposition would have to wait another 40 years.
The comments were greeted with anger by Ken Lukyamuzi, a leader of the opposition Conservative Party.
"The statement by the government is what we expected. Museveni is not ready for democracy but for hereditary rule," he said.
"We long suspected he has a family agenda of transitioning from him to his son", Muhoozi Kainerugaba, he added.
Kainerugaba, 39, is an army general who heads a special forces unit notably tasked with presidential security. He has previously dismissed speculation that he was seeking to succeed his father, saying in June last year that "Uganda is not a monarchy."