Oulanyah Promises To Serve National Interest, Otto Says It's Just Political Rhetoric

The new deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah has outlined five areas he says are critical in helping parliament to promote democracy and good governance in the country.


Speaking shortly after being sworn at Parliament earlier today, Oulanyah told legislators to adhere to facts when bringing divergent views; use reason and sound logic; tolerate and respect one another; live in harmony but backed by conscience and; serve the national interest as opposed to party affiliations.


Oulanyah promised to offer good leadership as deputy speaker of the house and affirmed his total support to Rebecca Kadaga, the new speaker of the 9thparliament. He promised to serve the country by promoting peace, order, development and good governance.


Oulanyah appealed to legislators to serve as leaders and patriots but not as mere politicians.


Oulanyah, who is also Member of Parliament for Omoro County in Gulu District, collected 299 votes to defeat Odonga Otto, the Aruu County legislator, who got 58 votes.


Otto congratulated the new deputy speaker but dismissed his speech as empty rhetoric. Speaking to our reporter shortly after Oulanyah was sworn in, Otto said he knows Oulanyah well and cautioned him to go slow and avoid working as if he wants to upstage the speaker.


Otto said results were fixed from the NRM caucus in Entebbe, warning that even in the 9thparliament, the caucus would continue to influence major legislative decisions.


NRM caucus met at State House Entebbe and endorsed Kadaga together with Oulanyah as the ruling party’s candidates for the top legislative jobs.


Otto, a member of the Forum for Democratic Change, stood as the face of the opposition hoping to sway the NRM-dominated house in his favour. But the numbers favoured the ruling party candidate.


Earlier in the day, Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi, another member of the FDC, lost to Kadaga in the race for speaker, managing to convince only 57 members to vote in his favour. Kadaga got 302 votes while two votes were declared invalid.


Otto, who has been in the house for ten years said he is happy he lost honourably and that the results show that opposition is united in the house. Mafabi and Otto got almost similar votes, an indication that members of the opposition could have largely voted as a block.


FDC secretary general Alice Alaso says she is happy with the voting adding that the opposition showed real alternatives. She added that as minority opposition in the house, they do not necessarily go into the race to win. To her, the most important thing is that they have been heard.


Alaso, who is also Serere District woman MP, said she expects the new speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah to withstand pressure from the executive.