The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has rejected nominees for leadership positions for the Opposition in the House.
On 27th May 2016, Hon. Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) and also Secretary General of Forum for Democratic Change, wrote to the Speaker of Parliament nominating Kasese district woman MP, Hon. Winnie Kiiza as “the Leader of Minority in Parliament.”
In the same letter, Mafabi, himself a former Leader of the Opposition, nominated Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kiira Municipality), as “the Chief Whip” of the Opposition and Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal as a Commissioner on the Parliamentary Commission.
Speaker Kadaga said she had hoped to present the Leader of the Opposition to the House to receive the President’s State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, 31st May 2016.
“I have noted that neither the Constitution, the Rules of Procedure nor the Parliament (Powers and Privileges Act) do we have a Leader of Minority. I have written back to ask for a clarification,” said Kadaga adding that “He also named Hon. Ssemujju as Chief Whip not Chief Opposition Whip. I have also written back for clarification as well.”
Article 82A (1) of the Constitution provides that “Under a multiparty organisation of multiparty form of government, there shall be, in Parliament, a leader of the Opposition.”
In the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Act, the Leader of the Opposition” means the member of Parliament who is the leader in Parliament of the party in opposition to the Government and having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament.”
The Act also provides that the person elected as LOP, whose major duty is to keep the government in check, would take office upon a formal announcement by the Speaker.
The Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Act also provides for a Government Chief Whip appointed by government and a Chief Opposition Whip appointed by the official opposition.
The Chief Opposition Whip is mandated to ensure attendance, participation in proceedings and voting in Parliament of MPs in the Opposition.