NRM Members of Parliament have unanimously rejected a proposal to elect the leader of Opposition in Parliament. MPs who attended the caucus meeting on Wednesday said the Caucus agreed to maintain the status quo.
MP Michael Timuzigu Kamugisha (Kajara County) said by electing the leader of Opposition and a representative of the Independents on the Commission is unconstitutional.
“By giving the independents a slot in the parliament commission means they have become another political party, which is not provided for in the constitution. Independents are either leaning to the ruling party (NRM) or to the Opposition,” he said.
Dan Muheirwe (Buhaguzi county MP) argued that by creating the position of a commissioner to cater for the independents, it means they have ceased being independents and they are seeking to belong to a political party.
MP John Twesigye Ntamuhira (Bunyaruguru) informed the New Vision that during the discussion, it was suspected that the Bill was brought in bad faith to create division in the House.
Parliament Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Jacob Oboth-Oboth said the committee is waiting for the Government Chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa to give the Caucus position and then make a report.
Nankabirwa convened the Caucus meeting to seek their views on the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2019 that is currently being scrutinised by the Legal and Parliamentary Committee.
Nankabirwa said she needed the members’ views before appearing before the Committee to give her views.
Tabled by a private member Andrew Aja Baryayanga (Kabare municipality) and seconded by Medard Sseggona (Busiro East), the Bill seeks to have the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Chief Whip and their deputies elected by opposition lawmakers and serve a term of five years.
The Bill also provides for the party with the greatest numerical strength to nominate three names each for the positions of LoP, Opposition Chief Whip and their deputies who then shall be subjected to a vote by all opposition MPs.
Tabled in February 2019, the Administration of Parliament Bill has since set tongues wagging over its provisions that seek to fundamentally change the manner in which influential office bearers at Parliament will henceforth assume office.
The Opposition members have opposed the Bill saying it is meant to undermine the very essence of multiparty political dispensation