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Two express interest for speaker, four for deputy

By Moses Walubiri, David Lumu, Mary Karugaba

Added 29th April 2016 09:34 AM

Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah have expressed interest in locking horns over the position of Speaker

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Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah have expressed interest in locking horns over the position of Speaker

The race for the next speaker and deputy speaker of parliament went a notch higher with a total of six people writing to the Electoral Commission (EC) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) expressing interest in the two positions.
 
According to Dr. Tanga Odoi, the chairperson of NRM's EC, current Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah have expressed interest in locking horns over the position of Speaker.
 
However, the field for position of deputy speaker is becoming crowded with Hamson Obua and Agaba Abbas joining Monicah Amoding and Jovah Kamateka in expressing interest in the position. Magyezi is also expected to throw his hat in the ring for deputy speaker.
 
"Kadaga wrote on Tuesday expressing interest and Oulanyah followed suit on Wednesday," Odoi told New Vision.
 
Although Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo has openly expressed his interest in vying for position of deputy speaker, his bid might suffer a still birth over a court injunction that has stopped his gazzetement by the national EC.
 
NRM's EC has made it explicitly clear that only gazzeted MPs will be allowed to contest on the ruoing party ticket for the two positions.
 
"I won but someone contested and asked for a recount. It is the court delaying. I appeal to Tanga not to block me because I have already instructed my lawyer to challenge the court injuction," Ssekikubo told the press at parliament yesterday.
 
Rather than cherry-pick candidates for the two coveted positions, NRM's Central Executive Committee – the party's topmost organ on Monday agreed to let vetted aspirants lock horns in the party caucus.
 
CEC's only concern was the media barbs between Oulanyah and Kadaga which they feared was likely to leave the party bruised and divided.
 
Meanwhile, lawmakers from Busoga sub region where Kadaga hails from yesterday lived out the proverb, 'charity begins at home' by going open about their support for her bid to steer the tenth parliament as speaker.
 
"There have been media reports that MPs from Busoga are divided on their support for Kadaga. The purpose of this meeting is to let everyone know that our support for Kadaga is a hundred per cent," former regional co-operation minister and MP-elect for Buzaya county, Isaac Musumba told the press at parliament.
 
Musumba who recently wrestled Buzaya County from Martin Muzale is, together with Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi, Kadaga's official agent.
 
Out of the 37 legislators from Busoga, 21 were in attendance. However, Magyezi told the media that 31 of lawmakers from Busoga support Kadaga. Those who skipped the meeting, including Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu - the sole opposition lawmaker, gave reasons for doing so.
 
MPs elect, Esther Mbayo and Geoffrey Dhamuzungu said it would be illogical for lawmakers from Busoga to abandon one of their own when other regions have thrown their weight behind Uganda's first female speaker.
 
However, John Bagole left Musumba and Magyezi squirming in their seats when he said that he will convince Kadaga to stand as an independent candidate if she (Kadaga) loses the vote in the NRM caucus.
 
"Let me make it clear that our candidate will win. I am not in this race to lose," Musumba said.

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