Parliament’s Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee has tabled a report containing a proposal that seeks to annul campaigns for the speaker race.
This development comes after the Monday meeting between Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya that took place at State House, Entebbe under the guidance of President Yoweri Museveni.
Prior to the Monday face off, there were fears that flaring tempers between the two camps could dent the National Resistance Movement (NRM) stranglehold on the position ranked number three in the political hierarchical order.
Tabling the Report on Tuesday March 30, the Committee Chairperson, Clement Ongalo Obote, told legislators that the proposal to scrap off Speakership campaigns is premised on a directive the committee received early this month.
“The Committee, on 10th March 2021, received a directive from the House to make proposals on how to curb the use of foul language against different contenders for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament,” Ongalo reported.
“The Committee, in its consideration of the matter, found that the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker are held in such high esteem that the candidates must not be seen in situations that could compromise their dignity,” he added.
Subsequently, he disclosed that a proposal has been fronted to amend Rule 5 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure to bar candidates for the said positions from public campaigns.
The above mentioned provision bans members from conducting themselves in an “unbecoming manner” which might portray the House in bad light but is not specific when it comes to office bearers.
Rule 5 only talks about the modus operandi of voting the Speaker and Deputy Speaker but does not dig deep into what sort of conduct is acceptable and unacceptable.
On the other hand, the same report also seeks to cater for the voluntary resignation which is not stipulated under the prevailing standing orders.
“The Rules of Procedure currently provide for the elections of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament but the only exit from these positions envisaged is by impeachment under Rule 107,” the Report states.
“It was observed that the Rules do not provide for voluntary exit from these offices. The Committee notes that this is a gap that needs to be rectified and therefore proposes that the Rules be amended to provide for resignation from the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” it adds.
According to Section 107 (1) 4 of the Rules of Procedure, the Speaker or his Deputy can leave office after Parliament passes a motion for their removal by not less than two thirds majority which in this regard would translate to 304 MPs out a total 457 legislators as of now.
With a month left to the Speaker elections, legislators are set to debate contents of the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee Report.