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Politics

NRM Attacks Kadaga Over Rebels

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buy http://coeurdepirate.com/wp-includes/class.wp-styles.php geneva;”>In a statement issued by Chairman NRM Electoral Commission, http://chesapeakecatsanddogs.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-users-list-table.php Ruhakana Rugunda, on Friday in Kampala, Kadaga is accused of “creating another group in Parliament that is legally strange.”

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“The NRM takes exception to the Rt. Hon. Speaker’s ruling to retain in Parliament the four MPs who ceased to be its members, and on whose ticket they were elected to Parliament,” said Rugunda.

“The Rt. Hon Speaker’s decision was selective, convenient and ignored to read and apply the provisions of the Constitution holistically and fell short of taking cognizance of Article 1 (2) which empowers the people of Uganda to choose how they shall be governed.”

The fierce attack from NRM signals a deepening political crisis that puts Kadaga on a dangerous collision course with the powerful NRM Secretary General, Amama Mbabazi.

Mbabazi had requested to fire the MPs from Parliament after they were sacked by the NRM.

Kadaga, however, on Thursday refused to heed Mbabazi’s call, saying the move would be unconstitutional since the law is silent on the fate of legislators who are expelled from their political organizations.

The affected MPs are Hon. Tinkasimire Barnabas, Hon Theodore Ssekikubo, Hon. Mohammed Nsereko and Hon Wilfred Niwagaba, Members of Parliament for Buyaga West, Lwemiyaga County, Ndorwa West and Kampala Central respectively.

NRM FURY

NRM is outraged that despite asking Kadaga to notify the Clerk to Parliament, that their positions had fallen vacant, she stubbornly refused to honor the request.

“The people of Uganda, during the 2005 Referendum adopted the Multi Party system of governance as the political framework under which Parliament operates, said Rugunda, adding, “Article 78 of the Constitution supported by the Parliamentary Elections Act, the Administration of Parliament’s Act and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament of Uganda, provide for the sitting arrangement in Parliament based on parties, independents and special interest groups… so the decision of the speaker to retain in Parliament the four MPs, creates another group in Parliament that is legally strange.”

Rugunda further noted that in taking her decision, the Speaker should have taken consideration of the entire constitutional provisions so as to give Article 83 (1) (g) of the Constitution its “rightful meaning.”

“Having failed to do so, she limited the operation and development of parties in the Multi Party system dispensation, which the people of Uganda adopted in 2005,” said Rugunda, who doubles as Minister for ICT.

He noted that the affected MPs having ceased to be Members of NRM, ipso facto, and as such ceased to be Members of Parliament.

“This is so because, there are four sides of representation in Parliament; namely, Government (NRM), the opposition, independents and for UPDF. By purporting to create special accommodation for the four Members of Parliament, in front of the Speaker’s desk, she effectively recognizes the fact that they ceased to belong and represent NRM in Parliament which defeats her earlier interpretation of Article 83 (1)(g) of the Constitution,” observed Rugunda.

NRM contends that it was an error of judgment for the Speaker to have purported to create another category of representation in Parliament outside those provided for in the law and “this will be vigorously challenged.”

Rugunda said it was also worth noting that the Speaker is the 2nd National Vice Chairperson of the NRM, member of Central Executive Committee (CEC), and having attended and actively participated in the unanimous decision regarding the status of the four named MPs in the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of NRM, “it would have been prudent to disqualify herself from presiding over the same subject matter in Parliament.”

NRM said the Speaker’s decision notwithstanding, it takes the firm position that the membership of the four MPs in its ranks ceased, “and their continued stay in Parliament does not only offend the clear provisions of the Constitution but also undermines the will of the People who exercised their power to decide on how to be governed.”

Rugunda said the ruling of the Speaker is not only an issue of NRM as a political organization but sets a serious and dangerous precedent that undermines the spirit of Pluralism.

“Consequently, the NRM disagrees with her ruling, and has taken a firm decision to refer the matter to the Courts of law for adjudication.”

Kadaga’s grounds

Kadaga yesterday said this issue of the effect of the expulsion of members of Parliament from their political parties’ vis-à-vis their membership in Parliament is not new, having been a subject of vibrant debate during the 7th parliament while considering the Constitutional (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill, 2005.

Specifically the House was considering clause 26 (g) of the Bill which had clearly provided that;

“(g) if a person leaves a political organization or political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to Parliament to join another political organization or political party or to remain in Parliament as an independent member or if he or she is expelled from the political organization or political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to parliament”.

Kadaga said that indeed, after a spirited debate on the matter the mover of the Bill, the then Learned Attorney General proposed in his own words that, “Mr Chairman, the last time we discussed clause 26, it caused a lot of controversy. Honorable members expressed serious concern over what it meant. We can go into explaining what it meant and so on, but we propose that in the interest of peace that the clause be deleted”.

Indeed, said the Speaker, the words from the clause that were deleted were the following- “…or if he or she is expelled from the political organization or political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to parliament”

“From the foregoing, as a Speaker of Parliament, it is my firm belief that a decision on this matter has the potential of having serious Constitutional ramifications. This is especially so that the office of a Member of Parliament is a weighty office which goes to the core of our democracy and therefore a decision to declare such an office vacant can only be made on clear, unambiguous and unequivocal provisions of the law,” said Kadaga.

“I don’t find such circumstances pertaining. The matter calls for caution on all parties involved. I am inclined to err on the side of caution and protect the interests of the members of Parliament as I am duty bound,” she added.

Kadaga noted she was not persuaded beyond doubt that she should direct the Clerk to Parliament to declare the four seats vacant.

“I am fortified in taking this position by the decision of the Supreme Court of Uganda in Brigadier Henry Tumukunde vs. Attorney General & Another, Constitutional Appeal No. 02 of 2006.

I would like to conclude by quoting the unanimous decision of Supreme Court of this country in the above cited decision- “The reactions and powers of the Speaker should always be much more vocal and clear when the person of a Member of Parliament is threatened or its rules are challenged.”

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