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Africa News of Monday, 17 May 2021


Uganda: NRM top executive discuss rules for speaker elections

Rebecca Kadaga and Jacob Oulanyah Rebecca Kadaga and Jacob Oulanyah

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) will convene today at State House Entebbe to discuss the rules to follow in the election of the Speaker and deputy of the 11th Parliament.

Speaker elections are slated for May 24 at Kololo ceremonial grounds following swearing-in of 529 Members of Parliament-elect that start today.

Sources this publication contacted said the meeting to be chaired by President Museveni will also discuss other party matters, including local council elections.

Mr Museveni is also the chairperson of the ruling NRM party and CEC member.

Other CEC members include the first national vice-chairperson Moses Kigongo and 2nd national vice-chairperson female and Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and six regional vice-chairpersons; the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah (North), Chris Baryomunsi (West), Karamoja’s Simon Peter Aleper, Singh Katongole (Kampala), Musa Ecweru (East), and Godfrey Kiwanda (Central).

Other members are: All national special league committee chairpersons, the secretary-general, deputy secretary general, national treasurer, deputy national treasurer, NRM parliamentary caucus chairperson, national secretaries, chairpersons of Commissions and deputy national secretaries.

“We are majorly going to study regulations of the Speaker of Parliament, the deputy speaker and formation of other local governments,” one of the CEC members said choosing not to be named to freely discuss the issue.

Another member suggested that CEC is likely to meet again later this week to pronounce itself on the speakership race ahead of a planned NRM caucus at the weekend.

The caucus is expected to discuss recommendations by CEC in order to galvanise NRM lawmakers to give a block vote to the party’s choice.

“They are presenting the draft regulations for speakership and deputy. There will be another CEC meeting at the weekend. I think they didn’t change much from last times’ (2016) regulations,” the source said.

Some of the qualities that CEC looks at before any individual is trusted with their vote is one’s loyalty to the party, experience and qualifications.

Currently, Ms Kadaga and Mr Oulanyah are fighting for the top seat and President Museveni applied brakes on their campaigns about a month ago, saying it was polarising the party. The duo has served on their positions for two five-year terms respectively.

The speakership position has also attracted former Opposition chief whip and Kira Municipality MP-elect Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

While CEC has positioned itself in determining who leads on most top government jobs, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament are elected by MPs at the first seating of each Parliament. NRM has the highest number of MPs in the 11th Parliament and experience has previously shown that they have used these numbers to easily control the direction of leadership of the House.

President Museveni intervened in 2016 asking Mr Oulanyah to step down to pave way for Ms Kadaga. It is not clear what will happen this time.