By Ritah Kemigisa
Former state minister for health Hon. James Kakooza has been elected unopposed to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), replacing Mathias Kasamba who died in May.
During a plenary session held this morning, Hon Kakooza was declared sole candidate for the race and consequently unopposed by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Amongi after obtaining 183 votes with no opposing or abstaining vote.
The NRM had earlier pleaded that it should be the party that lost its member to fill the vacancy.
While presenting a report of the verification committee of the nominees and applicants for the bye-election, Fox Odoi, the MP for West Budama North East said that to promote the growth of multi-party democracy, no political party can finish the term of another because the representatives are bearers of specific agendas.
However, Busiro East’s Medard Sseggona said that locking out other citizens on the basis that NRM lost its member would amount to disenfranchisement given the fact there is a lacuna in the law.
This is after the house adopted the Report of the Verification Committee to consider nominees and applicants to fill the vacancy at the East African Legislative Assembly that recommended Hon James Kakooza to fill the vacancy left by the demise of Hon Mathias Kasamba at EALA.
The Verification Committee recommended that the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline considers amending the Rules of Procedure specifically Schedule B to provide for the conduct of EALA by-elections.
The committee also noted that Appendix B the Rules of Procedure is silent on how to replace a deceased member representing Uganda at the EALA.
However, a reading of the spirit behind the relevant provisions of the appendix as contained in paragraphs 8 (a) and (5) is instructive.
Parliament has managed to beat today’s deadline to present Uganda’s representative to the regional assèmbly.