Parliament’s committee on
Rules Discipline and privileges is proposing to limit campaigning for the
positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker ahead of the May elections.
On March 10th Kabula County MP James
Kakooza raised a matter of national importance over the use of abusive language
and unparliamentary language by the camps of contestants for the position of
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who is also a
contestant for the position said the contest was being
vulgarised as candidates are now printing posters, printing T-shirts which is
not the correct way of campaigning.
She also said members were using
unparliamentary language and MPs who have not yet sworn in are also vulgarising
Parliament. Kadaga sent the matter to the rules committee for investigations.
Now the rules committee which is in the process of finalizing its report says that the general agreement among the members is that
campaigning during the speaker race should be limited to avoid people
diverting and using abusive and unparliamentarily language.
He says that historically, persons fit to be Speakers
would be dragged into the Speakers seat for them to accept the position, but
not them campaigning and soliciting in various ways.
According to the Parliament’s rules of procedure,
during the election of the Speaker, "A member making a nomination shall move a
motion that "So -and-So do take the chair of this Parliament as the Speaker’" and
shall give a brief statement of the
background and qualifications of the nominee.
Committee chairperson Clement Obote Ongalo says that
among their proposals is that a member can end by just declaring his intention
to stand, and that should be it.
“They should express interest and say I am available
and end there, otherwise, the rest of the campaigning will be out of order” he
says. Ongalo says that this is only a proposal in form of advice
and Parliament can take it or leave it.
He says they will give guidelines in regards to those
who seek to contest as Speaker and this is basically to resolve the problem of use
of unparliamentary language and going against decorum while campaigning.
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On incoming MPs yet to be sworn in, Ongalo said that
this is a technicality because the rules of Parliament only refer to members
who have been sworn in. He says that they have made some proposals to amend the
rules of procedure.
According to one of the candidates seeking to contest
for Deputy Speaker, Okin PP Ojara, the Chua West MP Elect, the proposal is welcome since
people are spending a lot of money and are bribing their way into the Speaker
sit. He says that MPs need to vote for someone based on their experience,
qualification and technical competence.
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Attempts to Speak to other contestants including
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda who wants to be Speaker, and camps of the Speaker
Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah were futile by press time.