“The NRM came up with regulations to try and streamline the race for speaker-ship. The fact is that some of the candidates had come out in radio stations and were throwing words at each other,” Tanga said.
The National Resistance Movement top decision making organ the Central Executive Committee will Monday meet to vet the names of the candidates vying for the position of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th Parliament.
Appearing before the Capital Gang on Capital FM on 91.3 on Saturday, the head of the NRM Electoral Commission Odoi Tanga said they would submit the names they had received to CEC to officially kick start the search process.
Other guests in the show included city lawyer David Mpanga, Members of Parliament Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri), Health State Minister Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkiizi East), Semujju Nganda (Kiira Municipality), Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo and Betty Kamya .
Odoi also defended the involvement of the Commission in the search for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker maintaining that their role was a stop gap measure to the mess that had been generated in the media following the wrangling among some of the candidates.
"The NRM came up with regulations to try and streamline the race for speakership. The fact is that some of the candidates had come out in radio stations and were throwing words at each other," Tanga said.
He said the NRM EC was then forced to come to try and restore a bit of order and that they will never be a repeat of what had had happened. "You will not see any of them fighting in the media again. After CEC has vetted the names and approved is when you will see them giving out media interviews," Tanga said.
Odoi said they did not as NRM think that the race for the speakership would interest the kind of animosity that had been witnessed. He said the return of the expression of interest forms closed on Friday evening at 5pm and that they had received names of 2 candidates for the position of the speaker and this included Kamuli Woman MP Rebecca Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah (Omoro County .
For the position of the Deputy Speaker, the party had received names of six candidates all under the NRM ticket and this included Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo, Ndorwa West MP, David Bahati, Monicah Amoding, Joviah Kamateeka, Abbas Agaba and Denis Obua.
"These names will be sent to CEC and some will be knocked off. We will call them and talk to them and when we fail to reach consensus we will forward them to the Caucus which will be called on 5th May for election. If by Monday we come up with 2 names, it will not be necessary to call the Caucus," Tanga added.
He said that NRM would the forward the names of their candidates to Parliament because they also expected the opposition to come up with their candidates and they would compete.
Health State Minister, Chris Baryomunsi assured the other guests that the NRM would build consensus on who its next speaker and Deputy in the 10th Parliament would be.
"In this current term we wrote down rules and even though the law says that Parliament would elect, NRM thought that we should first get our best through an election in the party. Eventually, that person selected, elected or appointed through the internal processes will be chosen to stand for an election," he said.
Baryomunsi said there was nothing wrong with this and said any of the other political parties could adopt the same procedure the NRM had followed.
He said sections of the media had created an impression that the Government was throwing its weight behind Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and that this was wrong.
"The rules we drafted are not favoring anyone. "The Caucus would vet the names and where they failed to reach consensus, the names would be sent to the caucus and we will vote. Ugandans should select the best," he said.
NRM Deputy Spokesperson Opondo said that consensus building was still going on within the party and that would agree on their candidates.
Earlier on the guests also spoke about the issue of MP exempting themselves from paying taxes. Mpanga asked the MP to consider subjecting the issue of their tax exemption to a referendum if the thought it was that important.
"The money that runs government doesn't fall from the sky. You cannot talk about corruption when you are not paying taxes. Don't complain about the cancer machine and police when you are not paying tax as an MP," Mpanga said.