The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Betty Aol Ochan has opposed the proposed amendments in the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2019 that seeks to cause for election of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament as well as the back bench Commissioners.
The object of the Bill that has been set before the committee is to amend the Administration of Parliament Act to increase the membership of the Commission to allow Independents represented on the Commission; to provide for the manner of choosing the back bench Members of Commission, the Leader of Opposition, the Chief Opposition Whip and party whips.
The Bill that has since received resistance from both sides of the House was moved by the Independent Kabale Municipality MP, Andrew Baryayanga Aja.
While appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, Ocan said the opposition was not consulted by the proprietors of the bill despite being seconded by Busiro East MP, Medard Segona who is a member of the opposition’s shadow cabinet.
Ochan said that the bill creates double standards by only targeting electing leaders in opposition and leaving the NRM to freely appoint its leaders including the Government Chief Whip.
“The LOP is an internal affair of the party in opposition with the numerical strength,” Ochan said.
On the same note, the opposition chief whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda protested the proposals in the Bill that seek to create the dean of Independent Members of Parliament. Semujju argued that each one of them came to Parliament alone and must remain so at all times.
He however proposed that the bill includes the Deputy Speaker on the Commission as a Vice Chairperson who would also chair the Commission in the absence of the Speaker.
“At the moment, the Deputy Speaker is not part of the Commission and in case the Speaker is not around the Commission will not sit,” Semujju noted.