Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga’s term on the Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has officially came to an end during the Governing Council Session of the 133rd IPU Assembly that has just ended in Geneva, Switzerland.
Kadaga was formally recognised at the last Executive Committee Meeting of the 133rd Assembly as well as the 197th Governing Council Meeting comprising all 167 member countries of the IPU.
In the meeting, it was evident that the leadership of the IPU will continue to seek Kadaga’s expertise and commitment at the IPU.
“She has not only been making statements here, but going back home to Uganda to implement them,” Secretary General Martin Chungong said, “We have been talking about turning words to action; she has been living up to that reputation.”
IPU Executive Committee members are voted by members of the Governing Council and serve one four-year term, after which they are ineligible to seek re-election for at least two years.
The replacement to a retiring member must also belong to another Parliament.
Kadaga will now be replaced by Hon. Ekwee Ethuro, Speaker of the Kenyan Senate.
Ethuro who was nominated by Speaker Kadaga, as a candidate from the Eastern Africa region, was unanimously endorsed by the Africa Geopolitical group.
Another notable African Speaker, Ms. Ntlhoi Motsamai, from Lesotho, whose term has also ended has been replaced by Ms. Carolina Cerqueira from the National Assembly of Angola.
Kadaga who has been part of the Executive for the last four years has been quite influential and was often tasked with ground-breaking responsibilities including leading the IPU team for the first ever talks with the United Nations on Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
“I think it’s all about leadership that she has shown; the respect that she has commanded within the Executive Committee and the IPU community in general,” Chungong said.
“We are going to miss her on the Executive Committee but we have said that she should come back in another way; within two years, she can come back,” Chungong added.
Asked whether she thought IPU was ready for a female president such as herself, Kadaga was definitive in her response:
“Yes, yes. I think the women have exhibited their competence both in the ExCo and probably in the chairing the committees. I think that they should be ready,” Kadaga said.
The Executive Committee of the IPU comprises at least 15 elected members belonging to different parliaments and two ex-officio members: the President of the IPU and the President of the Coordinating Committee of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians.
The 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and Related Meetings will take place from 19th – 23rd March 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia.