➡ Current CEC Members
✳ Singh Katongole
Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the ruling party NRM has picked Jacob Oulanyah as their choice of flag bearer in elections of Speaker for parliament.
It is not yet clear if Kadaga will go ahead to contest tomorrow when parliament votes. Kadaga has been Speaker of the 9th and 10th Parliament and previously Deputy Speaker for the 7th and 8th Parliament.
The CEC decision will be followed by a formal election through secret ballot at the NRM Parliamentary caucus this afternoon.
Hundreds of NRM Members and some Independents, are already at State House for the vote by secret ballot to confirm the party’s flag bearer.
National Resistance Movement-NRM party confirmed earlier it had invited independent Members of Parliament to join the NRM caucus meeting. The meeting is expected to endorse the NRM choice for the position of the Speaker of Parliament.
NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba said in a letter last evening, that President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the National Chairman of the NRM party, has directed her to invite all NRM leaning independent MPs for the meeting.
Initially, the NRM Electoral Commission Chairman Dr Tanga Odoi had said that NRM leaning independent MPs will not take part in the caucus meeting. Odoi noted that the independent MPs would only participate in NRM parliamentary caucus meetings after they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to legalize their working relationship with the party.
The NRM has at least 337 of the 529 members of the eleventh parliament. In the same house, there are 73 independent candidates, 43 of whom initially belonged to the ruling party, and fell off after losing the party primaries.
NRM leaning Independent MP, Juliet Kinyamatama (Rakai Woman Representative), Forum for Democratic Change-FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Bukoto Central MP Richard Ssebamala of DP have also expressed interest in the same position.
How CEC voted
After close to 24 hours of deliberations, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) endorsed Omoro County MP Oulanyah to stand as NRM’s flagbearer in the race for the next Speaker of Parliament.
Oulanyah was reportedly a favourite candidate from Saturday evening when CEC adjourned to today. However, some members requested that the decision be made Sunday, and following lengthy deliberations this morning, a majority of the members backed Oulannyah over Kadaga for the job.
According to Sources, many CEC members gave testimonies against Kadaga and the tension that she has caused during her reign as Speaker of Parliament.
The CEC also discussed issues of bribery where MPs were reportedly given money to support and vote for Kadaga who is seeking another term as the speaker of Parliament, while the NRM chairman reportedly complained about candidates who defied his directive on campaigns for the position.
According to sources that attended the meeting, Oulannyah used the recent performance of the National Resistance Movement in Northern Uganda in recent polls to justify his achievements, pointing out that NRM secured more than 80 per cent of the votes in the region compared to the dismal performance from Busoga region and Eastern Uganda, where Kadaga comes from.
He also reminded members about his respect for the decision of the Central Executive Committee and the party chairman, when in 2016, he was asked to step down for Kadaga to allow her complete 10 years as Speaker. But Kadaga reportedly accused Oulanyah of insubordination, dodging work and traveling all the time.
The matter is now to be presented before the NRM Caucus composed of NRM Members of Parliament and Independent-leaning MPs. Oulanyah will reportedly be the only candidate for NRM and will not be subjected to an election in the caucus, while the contestant for the Deputy Speaker could be subjected to a contest, according to the source.
The CEC is however yet to finalize the choice of a candidate for Deputy Speaker between West Budama North MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa, Gomba West MP, Robinah Rwakoojo.
The Central Executive Committee is the second-highest organ of the National Resistance Movement-NRM party after the National Delegates Conference. Its membership includes the chairman of the party Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, his two national vice-chairpersons, Haj Moses Kigongo and Rebecca Kadaga, six regional chairpersons who are joined by the Secretary-General of the NRM, her deputy, the treasurer, chairpersons of leagues such as the youth, women, veterans, the Prime Minister and the Government Chief Whip.
According to the NRM constitution, CEC performs functions such as providing and exercising political leadership in the country, formulating policy for consideration by the National Executive Conference (NEC), supervising the day to day conduct of the NRM’s activities, appointing organizational functionaries from amongst members of NRM and propagating NRM policies.
CEC also recommends candidates seeking nomination for the offices of National Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and National Treasurer and Presidential candidate for NRM. It implements the decisions of the National Conference and NEC among others.