Parliament has today started the nomination process of candidates to compete for nine slots at the East African Legislative Assembly – EALA for Uganda.
The two day nomination by Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesige closes on Tuesday 20th, September, 2022.
The others nominated are 12 independent candidates including; Stella Kiryowa, former Ngora Woman MP Jacqueline Amongin, former Buyende Woman MP Veronica Kadogo, Dr. Dennis Kapyata, Daniel Muwonge, Patience Tumwesigye, Phiona Rwandarugali, Lauben Bwengye, Ronex Tendo Kisembo, Julius Bukyana, Allan Muyinda and Ambrose Murangira.
Still expected for nomination are candidates endorsed by several political parties including Democratic Party, Gerald Siranda, Uganda People’s Congress’s (UPC), Fred Ebil and Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC), Harold Kaija.
Also yet to be nominated are candidates by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, who are incumbents. These are; Mary Mugyenyi, Rose Akol, Stephen George Odongo, Denis Namara, James Kakooza, and Paul Musamali Mwasa.
For nomination, each candidate is required to pay 3 million Shillings, provide an intent letter, provide necessary qualifications of joining Parliament and endorsement from a minimum of 20 Members of Parliament, among others. Candidates being fronted by political parties are required to provide an introductory letter from the party’s Secretary General.
Mwesige says that after the two day nomination process, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among will appoint a verification committee which will verify documents submitted by the candidates, to among others ensure that they are citizens of Uganda, registered voters, of sound mind and not under any sentence of death or under imprisonment exceeding nine months.
After this, names of the successful candidates will be issued in a notice by the Clerk and gazetted. These will then be invited for open campaigning before Members of the 11th Parliament who form the electorate. The polling day is scheduled for Thursday 29th September, 2022.
According to the EALA road map, by September, Parliament should have selected and gazetted Uganda’s representatives to the Arusha-based Assembly.
After their nomination today, a section of candidates pledged to ensure that the common market protocol of the East African Community – EAC is successful and that a political federation is achieved.
“We believe in African Unity and regional cooperation and this is one of the reasons why we have come out to participate in this process and translate the ideas in practical terms,” said JEEMA’s Muhammad Kateregga.
Stella Kiryowa, says that political federation is the main issue she seeks to push while at the East African Legislative Assembly.
Daniel Muwonge, says that a political federation will also go a long way in ensuring that EAC’s security, unity and development are maximized.
For Jacqueline Amongin, issues of climate change in the region top her agenda at the Arusha based Assembly.
EALA is an organ of the East African Community -EAC established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.
The Assembly has a Membership comprising nine members elected by each Partner State; ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or Assistant Minister responsible for the East African Community Affairs from each Partner State; the Secretary-General and the Counsel to the Community.
Currently, the Assembly has 54 elected Members; and 8 ex-officio Members totaling 62 members. Each of the East African Community member countries has to send nine legislators to the Arusha-based Assembly. The term of the current EALA members ends this year and elections are scheduled for December.
Elected representatives to EALA from the 7 Member States of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, and new entrant the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC serve a five-year-tenure. The current 4th Assembly has 62 members, whose term commenced in 2017.
According to Article 50 of the East African Community Treaty, members are elected by their respective country’s national legislature. Article 50 also requires the said members to reflect their country’s political parties, opinions, gender composition, and other special groups.