Speakership race: Parliament moves to amend rules of procedure

In the latest turn, Parliament through its rules and Previlages committee has moved to amend Rule 3 sub rule 2 that influences conduct of the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

The two leaders are the top most authorities in Parliament, one of the three arms that make the state. The other arms include the Executive and the Judiciary.

However, since the general election on January 14th, Elected Members of Parliament intensified quest to lead the August house.

The most prominent in the race are the current Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah. Both are fighting to lead the house in the next five years.

Sources from the NRM, a party with the largest number of MPs in the 11th Parliament indicate that Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah is the NRM’s Central Executive Committee’s most favored candidate.

As events unfold, Parliament today received a report from the Rules and Privileges committee suggesting a review and later amendment of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, with great emphasis on the election of the speaker and her deputy.

The Committee recommended that Rule 5, Subrule 2 be substituted and clearly identify those qualified to be elected in the Speaker and Deputy Speakership positions.

The committee proposed that a person is not qualified to be elected Speaker of Deputy Speaker of he or she is a Vice President, Prime Minister or a Minister.

The committee also suggest that campaigns of cause campaigns for his or her (Speaker and Deputy Speaker candidate) election should not take place “Save for procedures provided for under Subrule (8).

The justification, according to the committee is “to disallow campaigns for the office of Speaker since this is an honorable office of service.” Part of the report reads.

The proposed report also introduced a new rule that indicates that the oath of the Speaker or oath of the Deputy Speaker shall be administered by the President or a person authorized by the President.

However, some MPs have raised reservations on the principle of separation of powers if the President administers an oath of the two heads of Parliament.

The house is expected to elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker just after the swearing in of MPs expected to take place in May this year.

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