By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, who is the current Member of Parliament for Omoro Constituency in Gulu District has been elected by newly sworn-in members of parliament as the Speaker of the 11th Parliament.
Oulanyah has been deputy to the outgoing Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for two terms which make up 10 years. Oulanyah was endorsed by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) yesterday on Sunday, May 23, 2021, after lengthy discussions and a fierce battle between the two legislators.
Kadaga did not agree with the decision of the NRM CEC accusing some party bigwigs of wanting her out of the position for reasons only known to them and so she decided to run for the Speakership independently.
“It’s obvious that there are some elements within the party fighting me because I always side with the people of Uganda. The fighting was manifested during the NRM primaries for party vice-chairpersons but I emerged victorious after being voted by Ugandans in the NRM. It will happen again in parliament,” Kadaga told the media yesterday in a press conference.
From the polls taken today during the first sitting of the 11th Parliament at Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala chaired by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Oulanyah garnered 310 votes, compared to his biggest rival Rebecca Kadaga, who garnered 197 votes. As expected, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda came in last with 15 votes.
All factors remaining constant, Oulanyah’s term will run from today, Monday, May 24, 2021, to May 2026.