Kampala, Uganda | URN | Omoro county MP, Jacob Oulanyah has been elected as the new Speaker of the 11th Parliament. Oulanyah polled 310 votes against his fiercest rival Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who polled 197 votes.
Kadaga defied her own ruling party, NRM to contest as an independent after the party central executive committee (CEC) chose Oulanyah as their unopposed candidate. Ssemujju Nganda who stood on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) polled 15 votes and there were 2 invalid votes.
The voting process was presided over by chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and watched over keenly by President Yoweri Museveni.
After swearing-in, Oulanyah said this particular election has been challenging and expectations and uncertainties aplenty but he pledged to unite the house and promote good governance.
He said utmost due diligence will be the catchphrase during his reign as speaker of the 11th parliament as they work together to deliver Uganda to middle-income status.
He said facts and evidence-based decision-making, tolerance, harmony, and national interest above party interests will be the modus operandi during sessions and debates of problems presented before the House.
Oulanyah said much as MPs can change political parties, it’s almost highly unlikely that one will change nationality and hence national interest takes precedence over party positions and interests.
“We should agree that no view will be suppressed and all views will be received with tolerance…If we act in a harmonious way, we will always find a way. And therefore, we have a collective responsibility to work together,” Oulanyah said.
Oulanyah said the time has come to change the perception of parliament where people will start viewing parliamentarians as patriotic citizens working towards their common interests.
They were tensions when the presidential guards (SFC) invaded the House in an attempt to arrest protesting National Unity Platform (NUP) MPs. The matter was raised by Kawungu West MP Mathias Ssewungu and Owiny-Dollo ordered the soldiers out of the chambers in vain. Museveni then irregularly took over the speaker’s role and ordered his soldiers out of the tent to “heal the allergy of soldiers for Ssewungu.”