THE UPDF defence council has elected 10 representatives to the ninth Parliament.
The elections, which were held at the land forcesâ€™ headquarters in Bombo, were overseen by the Electoral Commission chairman, Badru Kiggundu, and attended by President Yoweri Museveni, the Commanderâ€“in-Chief of the armed forces.
There are 10 UPDF representatives in Parliament. They include Generals Aronda Nyakairima, David Tinyefuza and Elly Tumwine.
Others are Ramadhan Kyamulesire, Grace Kyomugisha, James Makumbi, Sarah Mpabwa, Francis Okello, Julius Oketta and Phinehas Katirima. Katirima has been MP since 1996.
A total of 20 candidates were nominated by the UPDF high command and forwarded to the President for approval.
According to sources, the new entrants are the commander of the land forces, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, Maj. Gen. Jimmy Owoyesigire, the airforce commander, Charles Angina, the land forces chief of staff and Capt. Susan Lakot, the director of the UPDF Junior Staff College in Jinja.
Those who bounced back are Nyakairima, Tumwine, Tinyefuza, and the coordinator of the security services, Oketta, Katirima and Maj. Sarah Mpabwa.
Grace Kyomugisha, Makumbi, Kyamulesire and Okello were not nominated for another term.
According to the UPDF Act, two out of the 10 army representatives must be women. The remaining eight seats are open for competition by both women and men.
The defence council is composed of 360 members who include head of directorates, chieftaincy heads, division commanders and brigade and battalion commanders.
The army forms part of the special interest groups in Parliament. Others are women, persons with disabilities, workers and youth.
A motion moved by MP Francis Epetait last year to throw the army out of Parliament was defeated. Other opposition MPs had also argued that the army should return to the barracks after stabilising the country.
However, Nyakairima and Tinyefuza argued that countries like China, Turkey and Egypt have army representation and that it was disheartening that they, who had saved the country, were being sidelined.
A review of the representation of special interest groups was also done in December 2005 and Parliament resolved to retain the army MPs.
The total number of MPs in the next Parliament is expected to increase to 376 from the current 332.
Katumba, Angina elected army MPs