Rules Committee Proposes Amendment to Allow Resignation of Speaker of Parliament

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Parliament’s Rules, Discipline and Privilege Committee has proposed an amendment to the rules of procedure to allow for a Speaker of Parliament to resign voluntarily.

The Rules’ Committee Chairperson, Clement Ongalo while presenting the report to parliament on Tuesday said that currently, the Parliament’s rules of procedure does not provide for a Speaker or Deputy to resign, but only provides for the impeachment.

Ongalo also says that although the provision for a Speaker to resign exists in the constitution, there is a need to make it clear in the Parliament’s rule book.

In 1998, the Speaker of Parliament of Parliament James Wapakhabulo resigned when he was appointed National Political Commissar.

The committee also proposed a ban on campaigns for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker saying it goes against the decorum of Parliament.

Ongalo said that public campaigns should not be permitted because there are high chances of hurting the dignity of the individuals concerned and in turn the institution of Parliament.

The proposed ban follows a heated race between Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, where both camps have resorted to throwing insults at each other and openly attacking each other in the public domain.

The proposal by the rules committee to ban campaigns comes hours after President Museveni also asked the candidates for the Speaker not to campaign saying NRM’s Central Executive Committee will resolve the matter.

The committee is also proposing that an MP-elect who is unable to come to the Parliament building can take oath wherever they are. This according to the committee chairperson can be via zoom video conference, and even when an MP is in jail.

He says this could be an amendment to have a speaker designate the area, and the clerk of Parliament administers the oath where the MP is located. 

The Rules Committee is also proposing payment of 3 Million Shillings for nomination fees for candidates vying for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to harmonize the election procedures of the East African Legislative Assembly with that of other electoral offices in the Country.

Another proposal is to have Parliament sit for four days instead of the current three days to cater for the large numbers of MPs. Additionally, the committee is also proposing that an MP sits only in one committee compared to sitting on various committees, and this can be on a rotational basis year to cater for the many numbers of MPs. 

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked MPs to scrutinize the Committee report and make their proposals through the Clerk to Parliament before a final decision is taken.

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