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REVEALED: Why Kadaga Pulled Out of Speaker Race

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has shelved her interest in the speakership, ending speculation on whether she would seek a comeback to the position she held for a decade. 

Until May 2021, Kadaga was speaker of Parliament, having served in the ninth and 10th Parliaments as speaker and in the two previous parliaments as deputy speaker under Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

Last year, the NRM endorsed Oulanyah and rejected Kadaga’s reelection bid. (Read Story Here).

Kadaga defied Museveni’s NRM party and stood as independent. (Read Story Here).

But Kadaga lost to Oulanyah. (Read Story Here).

Museveni would later appoint Kadaga Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs. (Read Story Here).

On March 21, Kadaga was said to be consulting allies on whether to stand. A decision would later be taken that she doesn’t contest.

The Kamuli District Woman MP was not among the 13 NRM MPs, including ministers, who have expressed interest in replacing Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. (Read Story Here).

So, why did Kadaga shelve her interest?

First, when Kadaga wrote a condolence message after learning of the news of death of Oulanyah, some people seemed to think that she would seek to replace the late speaker.

Some people seemed to think thhat Kadaga and Oulanyah were enemies to the extent that they wished each other death.

So, if Kadaga stood to replace Oulanyah, it would sound as though she was celebrating his death, strategists that convened at the former speaker’s Muyenga home reportedly argued.

They also discussed the implications of a potential election loss. In order to stand for speaker, Kadaga would have to resign her ministerial position. (Read Story Here).

In the likely event that she lost, Kadaga would neither be in parliamentary leadership nor in cabinet. Aware of this Kadaga chose to stay away from the race.

NRM CEC 

The other factor was that Kadaga was not certain of the support of the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC).

Last year, Kadaga defied CEC’s decision that she should step down and support Oulanyah.

Without CEC’s support, Kadaga stood as an independent and lost; so, aware of the implications of going into a poll without her party’s blessing — which she wasn’t sure she would get after disregarding their recommendation less than a year ago — Kadaga thought it wise.

NRM CAUCUS, HER DWINDLING POPULARITY

While she had some support from the opposition, independents and the ruling party when she previously ran as an independent, Kadaga learnt, the hard way, that going against the parliamentary caucus’ position would only make her bid end in tears.

The NRM caucus has not been known to defy the NRM CEC. So, Kadaga well knew that she had little chances if the caucus decided against her.

The former speaker has also since been absent from plenary since she lost parliament’s top job, making it difficult for her to keep interacting with legislators, especially the new ones whose support she might have won.

In short, Kadaga and her team gauged the Kamuli Woman MP’s support in the 11th Parliament, and concluded she had become a little more unpopular, and one who had less chances of winning CEC’s and caucus’ endorsement, which she was denied in 2021.

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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