The outgoing State Minister for Primary Health Care Hon. Robinah Nabanja has joined the race for deputy speaker and NRM remains undecided on who will hold its flag in the May 24 speakership elections.
Nabbanja said she delayed declaring her intention to run in order to give the internal mechanisms within the ruling party a chance.
The Kakumiro Woman MP, who yesterday officially expressed interest in contesting for deputy speaker on the NRM ticket, said she had joined the race because she is aware that the out-going deputy speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, is not coming back as deputy speaker.
“I am well aware that Oulanyah will never be deputy speaker again. So, the office is open. I am a loyal cadre of NRM. I have been in the system, and I know how things work,” Nabanja said yesterday shortly after handing in to the NRM electoral commission officials her letter of expression of interest to run for deputy speaker office.
Nabanja said as a former parliamentary commissioner and treasurer of the NRM parliamentary caucus, she had gathered enough experience and exposure to serve as deputy speaker, among other credentials.
“There is no law that says that one must be a lawyer to run for speaker or deputy speaker,” she added, noting that although she had handed in her letter to the NRM electoral commission, expressing interest to stand for deputy speaker, if the party leadership denies her the chance, she will accept and back whoever they will select for the job.
Earlier in the day, West Budama Central MP, Jacob Oboth-Oboth, also handed in to the NRM electoral commission officials his letter, expressing interest to run for the deputy speaker office on the NRM ticket.
“I am ready to replace Oulanyah,” Oboth-Oboth said, describing himself as “a man of integrity” who will offer “leadership and not dealership” during his tenure as deputy speaker.
“I may not be having a fat dollar account or right region and gender, but if there is merit, I appeal to the central executive committee (CEC) to consider the wealth of experience and knowledge I have because I have more than what they are asking for, for the office of deputy speaker,” he said, vowing to stamp out intrigue, camps, and discrimination in Parliament.
Nabbanjja Joins Oboth-Oboth and two other contenders, Ruhinda North MP, Thomas Tayebwa, and the Bukedea Woman MP, Anita Among, who on Wednesday joined the battle for deputy speakership on the NRM ticket.
The NRM electoral commission will conclude the process today, and then send the list of contenders to CEC for vetting on Saturday.
The selected NRM candidates for speaker and deputy speaker will then be forwarded to the NRM parliamentary caucus for party primaries, scheduled for Sunday at State House, Entebbe.
The Clerk of Parliament, Jane Kibirige, set May 24 for the election of speaker and deputy speaker at Kololo Independence Grounds.
For the position of speaker, the outgoing speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, officially expressed interest on Wednesday, while her former deputy, Oulanyah, is expected to officially express interest today at the NRM electoral commission offices in Kampala.