Following his declaration by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo as the duly elected Speaker of the Eleventh Parliament, Right Honourable Jacob Oulanyah has pledged to execute with utmost diligence the mandate given to him as head of the legislature.
Oulanyah won a hotly contested race with 310 votes against 197 votes garnered by Former Speaker of the Tenth Parliament Rebecca Kadaga. Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda who also took part in the contest managed 15 votes.
President Yoweri Museveni would later hand him instruments of office including the Coat of Arms, the Mace and the National flag.
In his acceptance speech, Oulanyah said that he will execute the responsibility that comes with the presiding over of the House for the protection of the national interest and improvement of the service delivery systems for the benefit of the people.
He said that this standard should apply to all Members of Parliament when executing their assignments.
“This election has been particularly challenging,” said Oulanyah. “As a result, expectations are high, fears and uncertainties exist; but together, we should build bridges, mend relationships, re-build friendship and replace despair with hope. I pledge to provide leadership through this, and walk to talk.”
The Speaker said that they will need to adopt some guiding principles on how to effectively deliver the purpose of parliament in its service to people.
Oulanyah outlined five issues as the method of work that he finds useful in the execution of work and these are Facts; Reason as a guiding principle; Tolerance and mutual respect; Harmony and National Interest above self and party.
“In short, our work will enable us to learn more about and from each other,” he told MPs. “Prejudices will be abandoned as we discover how much we all care about our country and our people. Convictions will be entrenched as we find new reasons to work together. None of us will claim not to have learnt something new in the course of our work.”
He appealed that the MPs pick a leaf from his statements and adopt them as methods of work.
“I hope and pray that the guidance and decisions, I will have opportunity to make in the next 5 years will make me truly deserve the overwhelming confidence you showed in electing me Speaker of this Eleventh Parliament,” Oulanyah added.
Oulanyah’s acceptance speech was made in the absence of his competitor Rebecca Kadaga, the Kamuli Woman MP.
She walked out of the meeting immediately after results of the Speaker election had been declared. Kadaga declined to make any statement to journalists who followed her saying that she would speak when ready.
However, one of her campaigners Cecilia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman MP had earlier appealed to Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to give her chance to make a statement but Dollo declined saying that the election process had to first be concluded before any speeches could made.
As she walked out of the Kololo election venue, Kadaga was accompanied by a few legislators from the East who have been spearheading her campaign.
There was drama when her private car delayed to pick her up and she suggested to the MPs that they use one of the Parliament buses available to exist Kololo. Her car however arrived shortly and she got off the bus and left Kololo.
Currently, the process of electing a new Deputy Speaker is on presided over by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.