Kampala. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah yesterday sought to regain the initiative in the race for Speaker by defending his record in the 2005 removal of term limits and his tenure in the Ninth Parliament.
Mr Oulanyah, who is seeking endorsement of NRM to wrest the country’s third office from his boss, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, said in an interview that the 2005 removal of term limits was determined at plenary stage after the committee he was chairing failed to reach consensus.
After chairing of the House Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee during the 2005 constitutional amendment process that saw term limits scrapped, Mr Oulanyah has had to contend with questions over his stewardship of the committee.
As Deputy Speaker, Mr Oulanyah also presided over the passing of disputed laws such as the Public Order Management Act and the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2012.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Oulanyah insisted he has no regrets about the controversies. “I am not in-charge of decision making. I am in-charge of the process leading to members to take a decision. I do not have a vote but I steer that process that will enable the members to take a decision on a matter,” he said.
“The Public Order Management Act-was it a legitimate law by procedure? I think the answer is yes. I did not start it from the beginning; it was dumped on my chest. What did I do?-Full debate and in my mind, if there is one dissenting opinion, it must be harmer Oulanyah.”
Despite President Museveni ordering a freeze on jockeying for the post of Speaker, Ms Kadaga on Tuesday told a workshop of women activists that she enjoys the backing of Mr Museveni and the NRM top organ for the Speaker’s job.