NUP too shy to endorse Kadaga

A Sunday evening meeting of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) parliamentary caucus failed to agree, at least formally, on the candidate the party will support for Speaker of Parliament.

The opposition party keenly followed the developments in State House, Entebbe, where members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) and parliamentary caucus met to decide the ruling party’s choice for Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The two NRM organs picked Omoro MP, Jacob Oulanyah, and Bukedea Woman MP, Anita Among for the two positions respectively.

Outgoing Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga denounced the CEC decision as did Ruhinda North MP, Thomas Tayebwa who lost the caucus vote with 149 votes against Among’s 168 votes.

Both Kadaga and Tayebwa vowed to market their candidatures independently.

NUP spokesman and Nakawa West MP, Joel Ssenyonyi told journalists that the party was considering the agendas of all candidates in the race which also attracted Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC) and Bukoto Central MP, Richard Ssebamala (DP).

During their meeting, the NUP leaders agreed not to endorse any of the candidates although some sources intimated to The Witness that the party’s MPs will vote for Kadaga.

President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be at Kololo independence grounds on Monday morning to watch the MPs as they choose the legislature’s next leaders.

With a sharply divided NRM parliamentary caucus, a block vote from the opposition MPs can determine who takes the Speaker’s seat.

With 57 MPs and at least six independents that pay allegiance to it, the NUP has significant numbers in Parliament which Kadaga, Oulanyah, Ssemujju or Ssebamala would wish to have.

Ssemujju in an interview with NTV said that the divisions in NRM present a brighter chance for the opposition to clinch the speakership.

A similar view is held by Kilak North MP, Anthony Akol who thinks that Museveni will not allow Kadaga to run as an independent candidate to humiliate the party if she wins.

“If Kadaga does not run, then some of her supporters will swing to Ssemujju. But he has to do a lot of lobbying,” Akol said.

At least 109 MPs subscribe to opposition parties plus some 73 independents, 43 of whom are said to be NRM leaning.

“We have 280 MPs in the NRM caucus who support Oulanyah and even in Parliament, we have good numbers. Currently we are talking to the opposition and so far we have seven NUP MPs who support Oulanyah,” former Kampala minister, Betty Amongi said.

Despite serving in Museveni’s cabinet, Amongi is one of the nine MPs from the opposition Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.