Ruhinda North legislator, Thomas Tayebwa has Monday morning quit the race for deputy speaker of the 11th parliament hours to the start of voting.
Tayebwa on Sunday lost the contest in the NRM parliamentary caucus to Bukedea Woman MP, Anita Among Annet who garnered 186 votes (51%). Tayebwa polled 149 votes (45.6%) with Gomba West lawmaker, Robinah Rwakoojo coming last with only 10 votes.
Tayebwa would later announced that he was to run as an independent candidate today Monday when the 11th parliament convenes for the first session to elect both the deputy speaker and speaker. He however got everyone by surprise when allover a sudden announced pulling out of the race.
According to Tayebwa, his decision was reached after a series of engagements with leaders in the party on several issues he wasn’t satisfied with.
He explained that he also wanted to allow gender balance since NRM opted to front a male candidate (Jacob Oulanyah) for speaker of parliament.
“It is true I have quit the race. There are things I was not satisfied with but the party is bigger than me and I don’t want Tayebwa as a person to divide the NRM,” said Tayebwa on Monday.
“When they declared a male candidate unopposed for speaker, it was now difficult to another male to win deputy speakership position. I know if I offered myself in Kololo, I would win but why all that? It is not a matter of life and death. I will continue connecting with colleagues, I have withdrawn unconditionally,” he added.
He says there have been threats from some party members especially the leaders on him and his supporters.
“It is true I have engaged deeply with the national party Chairperson, but it wasn’t about me but about the issues here – if you create a situation where you have winners and losers in Parliament, why intimidate that we shall not be put on certain committees of Parliament?” he asked.
He said that some seniors had also threatened that his ally on the speakership position, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who is standing as an independent candidate will be arrested after the contest but after engaging with the national of the party, he was assured that non of the threats will be effected and the president will always intervene if necessary.
His withdrawal now leaves Anita Among, Muhammad Nsereko, Yusuf Nsibambi and others in the contest for deputy speaker.
Meanwhile, nominations of candidates for the position of speaker is underway at Kololo independence grounds where Jacob Oulanyah has been nominated and seconded by Isingiro North MP Bright Rwamirama and Oyam South legislator Betty Amongi.
Allan Ssewanyana from Makindye West has nominated Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda. The nomination of the later has been seconded by Okia Moses MP Soroti East.