ALTHOUGH the Constitution does not stipulate that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament should be lawyers, the practice has been that lawyers hold the positions.
Parliament spokesperson Hellen Kaweesa explained that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are usually elected from the party with majority seats in the House. Milton Olupot brings you lawyers in the Ninth Parliament that will be sworn in on May 12, 2011, who may be the likely choices for the top jobs.
EDWARD Ssekandiâ€™s election as the next Speaker of Parliament would not be a surprise as it was in 2006, he was unanimously elected for the post.
Ssekandi, just as in 2006, narrowly survived losing the Bukoto North seat to the Democratic Partyâ€™s Jude Mbabaali claiming that the elections were rigged.
In 2006, after Ssekandi had been fronted by NRM as its candidate for the top job in the August House, the Opposition supported his nomination.
In case Ssekandi is presented again by the NRM, fellow party members are likely to endorse him, but he may face resistance from the Opposition, which in the last Parliament accused him of being partial.
Ssekandi, who also presided over the Seventh Parliament, is credited for steering the house successfully during the controversial third term.
He first represented his constituency in the Constituent Assembly in 1994. Two years later, he became the Bukoto Central MP in the Sixth Parliament and served as the chairman of the legal and parliamentary as well as the rules, privileges and discipline committees.
In 1998, he was elected Deputy Speaker, succeeding the late Betty Okwir, who had stepped down when she was appointed a minister.
In 2001, Ssekandi was elected Speaker of the Seventh Parliament.
Ssekandi was born in Masaka district on January 19, 1943. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of East Africa (now University of Dar-es-Salaam). He also holds a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala.
Rebecca Kadaga graduated with a law degree from Makerere University in 1978. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala in 1979. In 2000, she got a Diploma in Womenâ€™s Law from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2003, she obtained a Masters in Womenâ€™s Law, also from the University of Zimbabwe.
Kadaga, the Kamuli Woman MP since 1996, has served as Deputy Speaker for three terms. Her second stint was in 2001-2006 and she was re-elected in 2006.
She has largely been seen as professional and impartial in the course of her duties, despite being a member of the ruling NRM party. However, as with Ssekandi, there have been unsatisfied voices questioning her impartiality.
Kadaga has not hidden her intention to take a shot at the top parliamentary job. And given her experience and ambition, she could take the position if approved by her party.
Born on July 30, 1949, Makubuya holds a first class Bachelor of Laws degree, from Makerere University, which he obtained in 1974. He also holds a master of laws degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, both from Yale Law School, obtained in 1976 and 1979 respectively.
On returning to Uganda, he went to the Law Development Centre where he acquired a Diploma in Legal Practice and enrolled as an advocate of the Uganda High Court in 1985.
Makubuya worked as a Special assistant at the Faculty of Law, Makerere University and was later promoted to lecturer.
He held that position until 1982, when he became a senior lecturer. In 1984, he was promoted to associate professor. He is also a partner in a private law firm, Kasolo and Khiddu Advocates.
Makubuya was a member of the Uganda Constitutional Commission, which was instrumental in the drafting of the 1995 Constitution.
From 1984 to 1987, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Uganda Law Society Review. Makubuya was the head of department at the Faculty of Law until 1995, when he was appointed director of the Uganda Human Rights and Peace Centre.
He was elected a Member of Parliament for Katikamu South constituency in Luweero district in 1996. He was later appointed Minister of State for Luweero Triangle.
In 1998, he was appointed state minister for foreign affairs, a portfolio he held until April 5, 1999, when he was appointed Minister of Education and Sports. He has served as Ugandaâ€™s Justice Minister and Attorney General since 2005.
Makubuya has also held several administrative posts. Between 1981 and 1982, he was an ex-officio of the Uganda Law Council and the Management Committee of the Law Development Centre.
A lawyer and politician, Ruhindi is the state minister for justice and constitutional affairs and deputy Attorney General.
Ruhindi, who was born on August 29, 1955, holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University. He also has a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala and a Master of Laws from the University of Edinburgh.
Between 1981 and 1992, Ruhindi was a State Attorney. From 1992 to 1999, he was the corporation secretary for at Uganda Investment Authority.
He joined politics in 2001 and was elected to represent Kampalaâ€™s Nakawa Division in Parliament. He was re-elected in 2006 and in the recent elections.
The Minister of Local Government was born in Kabarole district on April 4, 1966. He holds a Bachelor of Laws, from Makerere University. He has three diplomas, one in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, one in International Law from the Public Administration Promotion Centre in Berlin, Germany and one in Human Rights Law from the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, in Geneva, Switzerland. He is pursuing Master of Laws at the University of London.
Mwesige has been an advocate of the High Court of Uganda since 1994.
He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was responsible for legal and consular matters. He has also worked as the managing partner at Mwesige, Egunyu and Company Advocates.
He was first elected to Parliament in 1996, to represent Bunyangabu County in Kabarole district, a seat he still occupies.
Prior to being appointed to his current post in February 2009, Mwesige was the Minister for General Duties. He also once served as Deputy Attorney General.
Mwesige is a respected legislator and is behind a number of Bills tabled in parliament. He is often consulted on legal matters.
The state minister for higher education and the Rushenyi County MP was born in Ntungamo district on November 15, 1959.
He holds a law degree from Makerere University and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre (LDC).
He was the Registrar of Titles, in the Ministry of Lands, from 1986 to 1988. He was also a lecturer at LDC from 1984 to 1992.
In 1994, he was elected a delegate to the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the 1995 Constitution. Rukutana has represented Rushenyi County from 2001 to date.
He was a Minister of state for finance and later labour, before he was appointed state minister for higher education, a position he holds to date.
Born in 1959, Stephen Tashobya, the Kajara MP.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere and a Diploma in Legal Practice from LDC and an MA in Business Administration from Wales.
Tashobya has been a legal officer and the assistant secretary legal, Uganda Commercial Truck Owners Association.
He is the chairperson of the committee on legal and parliamentary affairs and a member of the committee on commissions, statutory authorities and State enterprises.
His committee cleared the Kings Bill before it was passed by Parliament. He was among those who wrote a minority report exonerating Amama Mbabazi, Ezra Suruma and Amos Nzeyi in the NSSF land saga in Temangalo.
Henry Oryem Okello is the state minister of international affairs. He has also been a state minister for sports.
He was born in Chua County in Kitgum district on January 21, 1960. His father, the late Gen. Tito Lutwa Okello, was head of state between July 1985 and January 1986.
Oryem holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Buckingham in the UK, obtained in 1985. He also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Southampton, also in the UK, obtained in 1989. He was a barrister-at-law in Britain, before he left to join Ugandaâ€™s politics in 2001.
On his return to Uganda, he was elected Chua County MP until 2006. He was appointed state minister for sports until 2005, when he was appointed to his current position.
Between 2001 and 2005, he was the Anglophone Vice-President, Supreme Council for Sports in Africa.
He lost his parliamentary seat in 2006, but remained a Member of Parliament as an ex-officio, because he was a minister. Between 2006 and 2008, he was a member of the government delegation to the Juba peace talks between the Ugandan government and representatives of the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army.
On many occasions, he was the deputy leader of the Uganda Government delegation, led by Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda, at that time the Minister of Internal Affairs.
Oryem is a respectable lawyer and exudes confidence as he goes about his business as a minister.
A graduate of Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws at Makerere University, Jacob Oulanyah is not new to Parliament. He was the Omoro County MP in the Seventh Parliament before he lost the seat to Simon Oyet.
During the Seventh Parliament, Oulanyah exhibited a commendable legal brain and chaired the legal and parliamentary affairs committee. He presided over the amendment of the Constitution to remove Presidential term limits at the committee level. The issue endeared him to the ruling NRM party but caused him unrest in his own constituency, leading to their voting to him out in 2006.
He crossed from the Uganda Peopleâ€™s Congress to the NRM several years ago and was the partyâ€™s flag-bearer in the recent elections.
During the peace talks between the Government and the Joseph Kony rebels, Oulanyah was one the lawyers drafting the agreements.
He was also the speaker of the Makerere University studentsâ€™ guild in 1989/1990.
Born in April 23, 1954, Peter Nyombi holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere and a Diploma from the Development Centre.
He was a State Attorney in the department of public prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, an advocate of the High Court, legal counsel to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, counsel to the office of the Inspector General of Government and a legal practitioner under Nyombi and Co. Advocates (2001 to date).
The experienced city advocate and legislator is the chairman of the privileges, rules and discipline committee of Parliament.
HOW A SPEAKER IS ELECTED
The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected by the Members of Parliament. Each party is expected to present a candidate.
A person cannot be elected a Speaker or Deputy if they are a cabinet minister.
Election of the Speaker is presided over by the Chief Justice or a judge designated by the Chief Justice.
The Speaker presides over the election of the Deputy Speaker.
The Deputy Speaker must be elected at the first sitting of Parliament, or that office becomes vacant.
The presiding officer invites nominations from MPs present.
A Member making a nomination moves a motion that â€œ(Name).................do take the Chair of this Parliament as the Speakerâ€ and gives a brief statement of the background of the nominee.
Nomination is then seconded without debate and if only one person is nominated, he or she is declared elected and conducted to the Chair.
In case more than one person is nominated, the House votes by secret ballot.
ROLES OF THE SPEAKER
PRESIDING OVER THE HOUSE
Who will be elected Speaker in the Ninth Parliament?