The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is yet to endorse anyone for the speakership of parliament -according to party Deputy Spokesperson John Kikonyogo.
Kikonyogo made the remarks on Monday during the weekly party press conference held at the party national Headquarters, Najjanankumbi, Kampala.
The pronouncement comes after Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat’s deleartion that he backs Geofrey Ekanya the Tooro North member of parliament for the speaker-ship position.
FDC Spokesperson Hon Ssemujju Nganda and MP-elect for Mawokota South County, Yusuf Nsibambi, both party members, have already expressed interest in the seat of speaker and deputy speaker respectively.
Kikonyogo said the party has structures through which aspirants for any position must go through and the party is yet to commence the process to choose the flagbearer pick nomination forms for the speakership of parliament.
“We said whoever wants to contest should approach the party electoral commission and we will chose the party flagbearer in case more than one aspirant shows up. As of today morning, Hon Ssemujju Nganda and Hon Yusuf Nsibambi have already expressed interest in the speaker and deputy speaker respectively” Kikonyogo said.
He said, the party is still waiting to see if any other aspirants will show, then the party electoral commission will proceed with a process to select the candidates for speakership.
The race for speakership has so far attracted five contestants including the incumbent Speaker Rebecca Kadaga (NRM), her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah (NRM), Buko Central MP Richard Sebamala (DP), Rakai district woman MP Juliet Kinyamatama (NRM), and FDC’s Semujju Nganda.
The race for the speakers deputy is far crowded with more than 10 legislators already interested to replace Oulanyah as Deputy Speaker of the 11th parliament. FDC’s Yusuf Nsibambi, NRM’s Jacob Oboth Oboth, Independent MP Muhamad Nsereko, Independent MP Fred Musana, and Independent Theodore Sekikubo among others.
Kikonyogo however warned party members who are already vowing to support non- FDC members, saying the party is bigger than individuals.
The political bickering and smear campaigns that had kicked off as early as three months to the election date were however toned down by president Museveni’s restraining order to NRM members in the race when he suspended campaigns until such a time when the Chief Justice will congregate Parliament at her first sitting on May 20.
With a far bigger majority of MPs in parliament, the race for the speaker is likely to be influenced by the ruling National Resistance Movement party and analysts say the support of the President will be a big determinant for whoever is elected speaker of parliament.
Article 82 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who are elected by Members of Parliament from among their number. The Speaker is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission, the Committee on Appointments and the Business Committee.
Other Rroles of the Speaker in parliament include chairing all sittings of Parliament and ensuring that debates are handled in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. As head of the institution of the Legislature, the Speaker represents Parliament in its corporate relations.
The Speaker may after consultation with the President, prorogue Parliament by proclamation. He or she may also, by proclamation, appoint such a place and time within Uganda where Parliament shall sit.