Following Wednesdayâ€™s elections of Ugandaâ€™s nine representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly â€“ EALA, focus today turns to vigorous lobbying and campaigns for the next Speaker of the regional parliament.
Following Wednesday’s elections of Uganda’s nine representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly – EALA, focus today turns to vigorous lobbying and campaigns for the next Speaker of the regional parliament.
According to the treaty, the position of the Speaker is held on a rotational basis, starting with Tanzania in 2001 and Kenya in 2006. The arrangement makes it now Uganda’s turn to take up the top most elective political position in the community.
Speaker of Uganda’s parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, who presided over the elections of the nine representatives, increased the stakes in the lobbying just minutes after the exercise when she reminded the representatives that this term is Uganda’s turn to nominate a candidate for the position.
The nine new representatives to the assembly include Dan Kidega, Bernard Mulengani, Mike Ssebalu, Dora Byamukama, Nusura Tiperu, Margaret Zziwa, Chris Opoka, Susan Nakawuki and Denis Mukasa Mbidde.
Kadaga advised the new members that it was important for the Ugandan representatives to go with one voice while they embark on starting the next phase of the regional parliament.
The election of the EALA Speaker is set for next week in Arusha after the swearing-in of the new members on June 5th.
Among those who are rumored to be interested in the job are Dora Byamukama and Mike Ssebalu. But Ssebalu has so far refused to comment on his ambitions for the position.
On Wednesday, he said that he was still busy to comment on the matter and preferred to keep quiet when pressed further.
But Byamukama, a lawyer of over twenty years’ experience, has already said she would contest for the position. During the campaigns over the last two months, many MPs have been referring to her as the next EALA Speaker, to which she just smiles.
She said yesterday before her election that she would confirm her interest officially after the elections.
The treaty does not limit the qualifications of a candidate to the Speaker’s position. The last two Speakers were not lawyers.
Several MPs from Uganda on Wednesday said they would be traveling to Arusha next week to attend the swearing-in ceremony of their representatives and observe the election of a Ugandan to the top regional position.