The Otuke County Member of Parliament Hon. Paul Omara has declared that he will support any member of the ruling party that will be presented for speakership.
This comes in contrast after Members of Parliament from Acholi, West Nile and Lango subregions vowed to boycott elections of speakership if members of their subregions weren’t nominated by the Central Executive Committee (CEC).
The Acholi Parliamentary group endorsed Hillary Onek Lamwo County MP, Ojara Martin Mapenduzi the Gulu West MP, Lilian Aber the Woman MP for Kitgum District and Lamwaka Catherine the Woman MP for Omoro District for the Deputy Speakership positions although none of them picked nomination forms.
Hon. Omara said that having been absent during the discussion of boycotting the elections, he recognized the position of the Speaker being not only political, but also national and open to any member with the appropriate qualifications.
“President Museveni not only endorsed the Late Hon. Jacob Oulanyah from the Acholi subregion to strike a balance in parliamentary representation of each region in the country, but also to reward the greater North for voting for President Museveni significantly in the 2021 elections” Omara said.
He added, “I think it is important for us to look at the competence and qualifications of an individual beyond regional advocacy because the Speakership position is national as provided by the constitution and anybody from parliament with the qualifications can stand for it.”
However, he added that the position has other political inclinations to it that may go beyond an individual’s qualifications as in the endorsement of the former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. He asserted that the Acholi Parliamentary group was drawn to retaining the position since their comrade Oulanyah was unable to fulfill his duties given he spent only 9 months in the position.
“The decision of who should be approved for Speakership is to be made by the CEC, a competent and transparent committee that will choose the best candidate for the position depending on their preferred criteria. Personally, I will support whoever the Committee comes up with as an NRM candidate and in this regard, I don't speak for everyone who has made a decision in a different way,” the Member of Parliament said.
The Acholi subregion MPs also felt that it was unfair for MPs to scramble for position of the late Speaker before his body has even returned and buried, saying that although the law demands a new Speaker be voted before the next sitting, the Chief Justice is given power to preside and postpone the elections.
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