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Bill on election of LOP divides opposition

Betty Nambooze and Medard Sseggona

Members of the opposition have disagreed on a proposed amendment to the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2019, to provide for an elected Leader of Opposition (LOP), committee chairpersons and Opposition chief whip.

The proposed amendment was mooted by Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona but has faced resistance from fellow opposition lawmakers like Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), Mukasa Mbidde, who represents the Democratic Party (DP) at the Arusha-based East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Sseggona, the shadow Justice and constitutional affairs minister, says the Amendment will go into effect in 2021, which should not worry the opposition. “It should be the National Resistance Movement to worry, not us (Opposition), because it is going to work from 2021 and it will be NRM in the Opposition. We will not be in the Opposition unless some people think that even as we cross into power, they will remain in the Opposition,” he told Daily Monitor.

Nambooze and Mbidde say the Bill is anti–opposition in nature. Nambooze went as far as saying Sseggona should face the DP disciplinary committee for going against party principles. Sseggona however says his bill is aimed at advancing democracy and adds that those who are dismissing it have not internalised it. The Bill seeks to provide for the election of back-bench members of the Commission, the LOP, the Chief Opposition Whip and Party Whips and to establish the office of Deputy Leader of Opposition and Deputy Chief Opposition Whip. It also includes provisions for the tenure of party Whips and to establish the office of dean of Independent Members of Parliament.


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