Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Seven Members of Parliament have indicated that they intend to contest for the position of Deputy Speaker of Parliament when the house opens its doors in May.
The election of a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament is the first activity of the assembly after the administration of oaths for all persons who will be gazetted by the Electoral Commission as winners of the parliamentary elections held on January 14, 2021. According to Article 82 of the 1995 Constitution, the office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament shall be elected by members of Parliament from among themselves.
Although the race of the Speaker of Parliament is cut between Rebecca Kadaga and her current Deputy Jacob Oulanyah, there are so far seven people mobilizing support for the deputy speakers position.
They include West Budama North MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko, Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa, Gomba West MP Robinah Rwakojo, Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga County MP and State Minister for Finance David Bahati.
Thomas Tayebwa says that he has been consulting and has received overwhelming support from his colleagues. “I will be offering myself to lead Parliament in that role, and so far I have been consulting and the ground is good. I will contest in the NRM caucus, and depending on the support, I will abide by the outcome, but my grounds are strong,” Tayebwa told URN.
According to Theodore Ssekikubo, the Deputy Speaker’s position requires competence and experience, and these are some of the qualities he comes with for another term in Parliament.
“…This position needs competence, experience and grasp of the law. We will sit down and strategize on how to take this forward. This position needs someone who is sober and thinks outside the box. I am suitable,” Ssekikubo says. Similarly, Oboth Oboth says, “I come to offer competency.”
Although MP’s vote and elect the Speaker, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Caucus and NRM Central Executive Committee influence the process by virtue of the ruling party’s numerical strength. However, the election is presided over by the Chief Justice or a judge designated by the Chief Justice, and it is conducted through a secret ballot.
The Speaker of Parliament is mandated to carry out a number of duties, and key among them include presiding at any sitting of the House, preserving order and decorum in the House and make pronouncements on questions of order and practice.
While Oulanyah seeks to unseat Kadaga for the top post after serving as deputy speaker for 10 years, Kadaga is seeking a third term for the same. She also served as deputy speaker for two terms.