EALA Independent candidates say they did not have a fair campaigning ground

By URN

Just minutes before Parliament announces the winners in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elections, Independent candidates say they did not have a fair campaigning ground.

Most of the aspirants claim that they did not have enough time to contact Members of Parliament and share with them their manifestos. They also note that there has not been clear guidelines and communication on running elections and campaigns.

Counting of votes started immediately after the voting as MPs chose nine EALA legislators  from a pool of 47 contestants, majority of whom are Independents.

The ruling NRM party fielded six candidates while opposition Forum for Democratice Change fielded two candidates. The Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress fielded one candidate each, with the rest coming as Independents.

Algresia Ogojo, one of the Independent candidates says her only contact point was the Clerk’s office and this did not help her. She states that as an aspirant she was blocked from putting her posters by the clerk’s office saying she could only use small flyers. She says she was shocked to see other people putting in their posters.

Ogojo also says Independent candidates only had time to meet the MPs at lunch time when they were for a break.

She says next time there should be proper guidelines on campaigns like use of posters, communication to candidates but also accessibility to MPs who form the electorate. She says with seven minutes of campaigning, candidates tried their best but this would be better if the MPs had an open access.

David Innocent Matioli, another candidate states that they did not have clear guidelines on the entire election until a day to the election.

He says some MPs were difficult to access as they are often out of parliament. He also says all Independents suffered since they lack caucuses unlike the political parties.

Mpiriirwe Rachel says caucuses disadvantaged the Independent candidates. She says the election was free and fair, although she was told she was young.

NRM candidates Musamali Paul, Rose Akol Okullu,George Odong, Kasamba Mathias,Denis Namara and Mary Mugyenyi are in the lead. DP’s Mukasa Fred Mbidde and Christopher Opoka as well as Independent Candidate Suzan Nakawuci are also in comfortable positions.

Photo: Trendsmap

EALA GRANTS LEAVE OF ABSENCE TO THREE MEMBERS

By Gloria Nakiyimba

Three members of the East Africa Legislative Assembly-EALA have been granted leave of absence to introduce three key Bills. The EAC Youth Council Bill, 2017 is to be moved by Hon Susan Nakawuki, is to provide for the establishment of the EAC Youth Council within the EAC and to provide for its composition, objects and functions, administration finances and all matters incidental.

Hon Mukasa Mbidde is set to introduce the EAC Cross Border Trade in Professional Services Bill, 2016, which will allow professionals to crisscross the region as they render their services in line with the Common Market Protocol?  The House also granted leave to Hon Chris Opoka to move the EAC Mining Bill 2016 that specifically calls for the harmonization of mining regulations to ensure environmentally friendly and sound mining practices

Photos: East African Legislative Assembly

A SET OF RULES TO BE SET FOR EALA REPRESENTATIVES.

By Patricia Osman

The National Organization of trade unions says it is going to put in place rules to be followed by those that want to represent workers at the East African Legislative Assembly.

According to the organization boss Usher Wilson Owere they are interested in person that will champion the desires and a common voice of the workers. He adds that this is a great opportunity for workers that should not be undermined

Parliament recently passed amendments to the election of the nine members to the East African Legislative Assembly to consider interest groups including workers.

Photo: Daily Monitor

EALA legislators argue that Kiswahili should be an official language for EAC

By Gloria Nakiyimba
East Africa Legislative Assembly-EALA is pushing for recognition of Kiswahili as one of the official languages of the Community. The assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to urge the Summit of EAC to amend the Treaty for the establishment of the Community, to make member States promote and allow the use of Kiswahili in official domains.
The Resolution moved by Hon Abubakar Zein, was seconded by Hon Shyrose Bhanji and Hon Abdullah Mwinyi. The Resolution states that Kiswahili is the fastest spreading African language across the globe and that the African Union has made Kiswahili one of its official languages. Proponents contend that making Kiswahili one of the official languages of the Community is one way to deepen and widen the integration process. According to Hon Zein, embracing the Kiswahili language is also bound to increase the participation of the people of East Africa in the Affairs of the Community as well as promote African culture. Kiswahili is flexible and has its root in the Bantu language which constitutes more than 50 per cent of African population.