The ruling National Resistance Movement central executive committee (CEC) has allegedly endorsed Omoro County MP Jacob Oulanyah over Rebecca Kadaga as the party's flagbearer in the race for the next speaker of parliament.
Oulanyah was reportedly the favourite candidate from Saturday evening when CEC adjourned to today. However, some members requested that the decision be made Sunday, and following lengthy deliberations this morning, a majority of the members backed Oulanyah over Kadaga for the job.
According to sources, many CEC members gave testimonies against Kadaga and the tension that she has caused during her reign as speaker of parliament.
The CEC also discussed issues of bribery where MPs were reportedly given money to support and vote for Kadaga who is seeking another term as the speaker, while the NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni reportedly complained about candidates who defied his directive on campaigns for the position.
According to sources that attended the meeting, Oulanyah used the recent performance of the NRM in northern Uganda in recent national polls to justify his achievements, pointing out that NRM secured more than 80 per cent of the votes in the region compared to the dismal performance from Busoga region and eastern Uganda, where Kadaga comes from.
He also reminded members about his respect for the decision of the CEC and the party chairman, when in 2016, he was asked to step down for Kadaga to allow her complete 10 years as speaker. But Kadaga reportedly accused Oulanyah of insubordination, dodging work, and traveling abroad all the time. According to sources, once Kadaga stormed out of the meeting in protest against inviting non-CEC members into the meeting, CEC declared Oulanyah as the NRM flagbearer.
The matter is now to be presented before the NRM caucus composed of NRM MPs and independent-leaning MPs. Oulanyah will reportedly be the only candidate for NRM and will not be subjected to any election in the caucus, while the contestant for the deputy speaker could be subjected to a contest, according to the source.
CEC is however yet to finalize the choice of a candidate for deputy speaker between West Budama North MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa, Gomba West MP, Robinah Rwakoojo.
CEC is the second-highest organ of the NRM party after the national delegates conference. Its membership includes the chairman of the party Museveni, his two national vice-chairpersons, Haj Moses Kigongo and Rebecca Kadaga, six regional chairpersons who are joined by the secretary-general of the NRM, her deputy, the treasurer, chairpersons of leagues such as the youth, women, veterans, the prime minister, and the government chief whip.
According to the NRM constitution, CEC performs functions such as providing and exercising political leadership in the country, formulating policy for consideration by the national executive conference (NEC), supervising the day to day conduct of the NRM’s activities, appointing organizational functionaries from amongst members of NRM and propagating NRM policies.
CEC also recommends candidates seeking nomination for the offices of national chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and national treasurer and presidential candidate for NRM. It implements the decisions of the national conference and NEC among others. Kadaga is set to address the media at Hotel Africana today evening.