FDC To Discuss Impartiality of Speaker

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change is to discuss a proposal for the speaker of Parliament to be impartial.

FDC Spokesman Wafula Oguttu
FDC Spokesman Wafula Oguttu

Wafula Ogutu, the spokesperson for FDC, says they are proposing that if one is a member of parliament they should step aside from their constituency role and hand over the seat for someone who will temporarily stand in.

Better yet the opposition is suggesting that the election of a speaker should be different so as to enable the speaker work freely without any hindrances by the ruling party.

Ogutu says in 2005 under the Inter party coalition it was proposed under political constitutional proposals and electoral reforms.

He states that these proposals were made to Edward Sekandi the speaker then and are now planning to make the same proposals. Ogutu says this proposal was first initiated in 2009 when Speaker Ssekandi used to hold several meetings with President Yoweri Museveni.

They have thus asked their lawyer Abdu Katuntu to revisit the proposals and asked the leader of opposition Nandala Mafabi to consult other political parties represented in Parliament for their views.

Katuntu has up to Tuesday next week before he submits the refined proposals are discussed by the opposition caucus and later tabled on the floor of the house.

Steven Tashobya an NRM MP says the argument to have the speaker elected from the majority party of government is because it’s Parliament that makes and executes laws. It also passes programmes that are supposed to compliment the manifesto of the party that is in government which is the NRM.

To this extent Parliament has to work together with the executive to enable it deliver.

He cites other jurisdictions in and outside Africa where the Speaker on being elected resigns her seat and in the following term, the speaker returns to Parliament unopposed.

Tashobya says in this regard the Speaker is then allowed to pick someone to stand in for them in the constituency. However, when the party recalls the Speaker the person who has been standing in for her can then resign and she takes over her constituency seat.

Last month the ruling party the National Resistance Movement wrote to the speaker of Parliament about it withdrawing its support from four of its members.

However, last week the speaker Rebecca Kadaga declined to declare their seats vacant which move attracted a harsh response from the NRM where she is also vice chairperson.

The NRM argued that the Speaker is the second National Vice Chairperson of the NRM, member of CEC and having attended and actively participated in the unanimous decision regarding the status of the four MPs she would have let the matter to be presided over the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya.

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