Thomas Tayebwa the elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament

The Ruhinda North County legislator in Mitooma District, Thomas Bingirana Tayebwa has been elected the Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament.

Tayebwa, who was endorsed by NRM Central Executive Committee – CEC on Thursday defeated his rival, Moses Okot Bitek Jr, the Kioga County MP in Kioga District with 379 votes against 82 votes respectively.

In his acceptance speech, Tayebwa thanked President Yoweri Museveni for appointing him Government Chief Whip which earned him good experience that will enable him to execute his duties with diligence.

He regretted quitting the position, which was occasioned by the sudden demise of Late Jacob Oulanyah. He also apologized for uncalculated statements that angered the Acholi MPs following their demand to compel the Government to ring-fence the position of the Speaker for the North following Oulanyah’s death. 

Meanwhile, Tayebwa’s rival, Bitek was jointly endorsed by the six opposition parties in Parliament that include his party, Forum for Democratic Change – FDC, Democratic Party- DP, National Unity Platform – NUP, Uganda People’s Congress – UPC, Justice and Equity Movement Party – JEMA, and People’s Progressive Party – PPP.

Tayebwa now fills the vacuum created by Anita Among Annet, who was earlier elected the Speaker of Parliament at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds following the death of Jacob Oulanyah, the Omoro County lawmaker who died on 20th March, 2022 from Seattle, USA.

Prior to his election, Tayebwe, 41, was the Government Chief Whip in Parliament for the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM party. He resigned his position and President Yoweri Museveni accepted the resignation, wishing him victory in the race. 

Parliament has been at a standstill since March 14th when the then Deputy Speaker Among adjourned the House sine die to enable her to fly to the USA to check on then bedridden Oulanyah who had been indisposed for weeks.

The Constitution under Article 82 (4) provides that no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than election of Speaker at any time that office is vacant. This same procedure is laid down under Rule 5 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure.

Article 82 of the Constitution also provides that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be elected by Members of Parliament from their number and a person shall not be qualified to be elected Speaker or Deputy Speaker if he or she is a Vice President or a Minister. 

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