The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has expressed interest to run against other Members of Parliament to replace her fallen boss, Jacob Oulanyah.
Among’s bid for the position was announced on Monday evening by Herbert Kinobero, the Vice-Chairperson of the ruling National Resistance Movement ( NRM ) party caucus in Parliament.
“As we continue to mourn our beloved Late Speaker of Parliament, and as a requirement by our Constitution, the Deputy Speaker will be going to NRM Electoral Commission to express her interest for the position of the Speaker of Parliament at 11.00 am on Tuesday”, said Kinobero.
Several MPs confirmed to URN receiving Kinobero’s text messages, including phone calls in mobilization to accompany Among, who doubles as the Bukeddea District Woman Representative to the NRM Electoral Commission to express her interest.
Alex Kintu Brandon, the Spokesperson of the NRM part Caucus in Parliament said that the vacant position of the Speaker is open to all the legislators, thus they are free to express interest in it.
He added that the caucus will sit on Thursday to front a candidate.
John Baptist Nambeshe, the opposition Chief Whip told URN that the opposition lawmakers from the six political parties in Parliament that include FDC, NUP, UPC, JEMA, PPP and DP will also convene on Thursday to front a candidate for the position of Speaker.
Certainly, Among will face off with other contestants whose names have featured for the hastily arranged race.
They include the West Budama MP Jacob Oboth Oboth, Hamson Obua (Ajuri County), Hillary Onek (Lamwo County), Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri), Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo County), Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North County) in Mitooma District who is also the Government Chief Whip, and Fox Odoi (Budama West North).
On Monday, legislators under their loose coalition of the Greater North Parliamentary Forum that includes Teso; Acholi and West Nile convened at the Members’ Lounge of Parliament to evaluate potential candidates in their midst to be fronted for the top seat at the August House.
“Onek is a senior cadre and experienced leader, if the President considers maintaining his support and that the NRM in Northern Uganda where Late Oulanyah had extensively mobilized for him, then we may present Onek to fill the vacuum”, an MP under Acholi Parliamentary Group who preferred anonymity intimated to URN.
A cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni resolved to hold the election of the Speaker on March 29 to fill the vacuum left by Oulanyah who died on Sunday 20 March 2022 from a Hospital in Seattle, USA where he was admitted for specialized healthcare since February 4th.
Article 82(4) of the Constitution, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament bar any business in the House other than the election of Speaker when the position falls vacant.
The election of the Speaker shall be presided over by the Chief Justice or a judge designated by the Chief Justice.