The ChiefOpposition Whip in parliament and Kira Municipality MP, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda has officially joined the Speaker’s race. The offices of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker will fall vacant with the expiry of the term for the 10th Parliament in May this year.
While launching his bid for the speaker’s seat at a hastily organised press conference within the precincts of Parliament, Ssemujju listed five attributes that he believes will guide the MPs in the election of the speaker.
He explained that MPs want a speaker who will be impartial while presiding over parliament, a speaker who will be accessible to all, a speaker who will distribute available opportunities in Parliament equally, a speaker who will not take offence when criticized for the good management of Parliament and a speaker who will not personalize the office.
“I’m going to be a speaker for every Member of Parliament and I will handle disagreements with colleagues and other subordinates who serve us in parliament in the most professional and dignified manner possible,” Ssemujju said.
He revealed that he had written to the presidents of all opposition political parties in Parliament informing them of his bid and reminding them that the opposition cannot just sit back and watch as the NRM tussles it out for the top job in the house.
Ssemujju said that he will be talking to each MP-elect of the 11th Parliament during his campaign and will soon traverse the country to market his bid for Parliament’s top job. He states that those who are supporting his campaign are a mix of MPs from both sides of the aisle and that there are a few names in his camp that will surprise the public.
Ssemujju says that he has the experience to steer the house having covered Parliament as a journalist for ten years and serving as an MP for two terms. He recently won his third term as the Kira municipality legislator.
He said during his tenure as MP, he has been entrusted with several leadership roles including chairperson of the committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises which he says is a similar role as a speaker.
The contest for speaker has already bred animosity between the two front runners who are the incumbent speaker, Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah. Their rivalry and dislike for each other have often played out publicly and the vote for speaker is expected to be a heated affair.
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