KAMPALA – Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was forced to defer debate on the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2019, due to lack of quorum amidst the heated debate on the matter.
The Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a private member’s bill introduced before Parliament in 2019 by Andrew Aja Baryayanga and was scrutunised by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
The objective of the Bill is to amend the Administration of Parliament Act to provide for the manner of choosing the backbench Members of the Commission, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Opposition Whip and Party Whips; to establish the office of Deputy Leader of Opposition and Deputy Chief Opposition Whip; to provide for the tenure of party Whips and to establish the office of dean of independent Members of Parliament.
During the debate, Independent MPs tussled out with their counterparts with Independent MPs demanding representation on Parliament’s top structures.
During the debate, many MPs affiliated to political parties opposed the bill like Jonathan Odur (Erute North) said that if independents want leadership to increase on their share they should cross to the side where they can satisfy themselves, “For my party, being seven here, we can’t come here and fight for slots,” said Odur a member for UPC.
Patrick Nsamba (Kasanda North) said that the issue of election of the leader of the opposition would be resolved if the opposition leader in the election is allowed to be with a seat in parliament as EX-official.
However, the independent MPs called on political parties to clean up the election exercises in their party structures arguing that the corruption in the party primaries are what has driven people out of parties. Parliament is set to take decision on the matter when plenary resumes next week.