Parliament. There were disagreements in the Parliament yesterday as Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ruled that any member who wants to join the Parliamentary Commission must be subjected to a vote in the House.
This was contrary to the previous arrangement where political parties would nominate members to the commission.
This ruling angered some members who accused the Speaker of changing rules in the middle of the game, while others described her ruling as irrelevant.
Ms Kadaga was responding to concerns raised by Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona, who last week challenged the process used by Parliament to designate members to the commission, the highest administrative organ of Parliament.
Mr Sseggona argued that both the Constitution and the Administration of Parliament Act provide for a vote as opposed to designation through nomination which has been employed since 2006.
The Speaker agreed with Mr Sseggona, who is also the shadow minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
“I have studied the provisions of the Constitution Administration of Parliament Act and the rules of procedure of this act and found that the law is clear, there must be nomination of candidates for elections to the commission for the four Members of Parliament nominated by the government and Opposition,” Kadaga said.
She blamed previous undertakings on the House Rules of Procedure and directed the line committee to align the rules with the Constitution and Administration of Parliament Act.
Whereas the Speaker did not state when the election for the new commission will be held, her guidance implies that the members of the Parliamentary Commission will serve for a term of two and a half years, subject to nomination and the election will be by the whole House.
The Speaker’s ruling triggered a wave of anxiety in the House with both the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa (NRM, Kiboga) and Opposition Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality) in protest.
The Opposition has since designated Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye to the position of commissioner, replacing Dokolo woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.
Ms Nankabirwa, said the ruling party had already finished the nomination exercise and was only waiting for confirmation.
The Daily Monitor has established that the ruling party has decided to maintain its three members including Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang, Kakumiro Woman MP Robinah Nabbanja and Mr Arinaitwe Rwakajara.