The parliamentary caucus of Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has passed a unanimous resolution to give the incumbent East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) MPs another term.
The endorsement made on Friday, September 16, 2022 at the Kololo Independence Grounds was an approval of a recommendation by the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the NRM’s top organ.
This means that Rose Akol, James Kakooza, Mary Mugyenyi, Paul Musamali, Denis Namara, and George Stephen Odongo will likely return to the regional parliament as some of Uganda’s representatives.
According to Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, the decision to recommend the incumbent MPs for another kisanja was due to the fact that there was already a precedent, and that it would promote party harmony.
“The reason we recommended that we maintain these six are two: one, the precedent that we started in the past is that when we send representatives to EALA, we give them a second chance. I concur we have set a standard of giving a second chance to our representatives and we must democratically maintain it,” explained Gen Museveni.
“In the past, we have had disharmony of our members but this group has behaved differently. They have been cohesive. They have performed well as a group. In the same spirit, I call for cohesion amongst them, disharmony undermines effectiveness.”
It should be remembered that about 130 NRM members had applied for these EALA MP position but nearly a half withdrew. But the party decided to endorse the incumbents.
Thanks to its numbers in Parliament, the NRM is not only certain of these six slots but will also determine who wins the remaining slots.
The NRM caucus resolved to support candidates from opposition political parties that are considered friendly.
These are the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) of Jimmy Akena Obote, Democratic Party (DP) of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Norbert Mao, and Asuman Basalirwa’s Justice Forum (Jeema).
NRM government chief whip Hamson Obua asked MPs to choose the party’s candidates and those from friendly opposition parties when the time for voting comes.
Nominations for Eala positions are scheduled for September 19 and 20, 2022, while voting will happen on September 29, 2022.
On friendly parties, it should be remembered that Norbert Mao signed a cooperation agreement with Museveni, before he was appointed minister. (Read Full Agreement Here).