Change is paramount if the 11th Parliament is to perform Better -Oulanyah

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Outgoing Deputy Speaker Hon Jacob Oulanyah; Courtesy Photo

The outgoing Deputy Speaker of parliament Hon Jacob Oulanyah has said massive changes are necessary in the next parliament for it to perform better and meet the expectations of Ugandans.

Oulanyah said that without changing how business is done in parliament, the 11th parliament will not be different from the 10th parliament which he claims has grappled with several challenges including dwindling public trust.

Oulanyah was speaking to journalists after taking oath as the duly elected representative for Omoro County in the 11th parliament.

“My honest assessment is that the next five years of parliament should not be like the last five. There are things that must change and they are many.” Oulanyah said.

Oulanyah, who is in the race for the speakership of parliament against his former boss Hon Rebecca Kadaga, said there must be a process to effect changes in handling of business in the house in order to ensure public confidence is restored; otherwise, Ugandans should not expect anything new.

“We have to restore public confidence. Whether I am there or not, there are things that should change… this is a parliament where parliamentarians are jeered at wherever they are seen; and it is because of how we have been doing business. This must change! We cannot have the next five years be just like the last five. It is not acceptable” He said.

Oulanyah also said he wants to be part of the process to effect “those changes.”

Parliament will be convening for the first sitting on 24th May 2021 to choose the next speaker. This means that after the elections, he and Kadaga who represents Kamuli District, risk staying as a mere MP -back bencher.

Asked whether he is ready to be a back bencher in case he loses the speakership race, Oulanyah answered in the affirmative saying he was primarily elected to represent his voters and not to be speaker.

“I was elected to be member of parliament for Omoro County for the next five years; anything else is a bonus” He said.

The battle for who becomes Speaker when the 11th Parliament convenes has raised tensions within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party as both aspirants seem not to be ready to compromise on the position.

Speaking to the press during the handover of office yesterday, Oulanyah vowed that he won’t return as Deputy Speaker, a position he has held since 2011. His nemesis Rebecca Kadaga also vowed she is not ready to take the Vice Presidency as an offer to relinquish the speakership in favor of Oulanyah.

The NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) -the highest decision-making organ of the party which convened this week also failed to reign over the two for a compromise on a flagbearer paving way for the possibility of a real showdown.

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