Nominations for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have been concluded today Tuesday with 28 candidates officially nominated to compete for Uganda’s nine slots.
The second and last day of nominations recorded 18 independent candidates.
The candidates nominated by Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesige include six candidates from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party while Opposition Political Parties including Democratic Party, Justice Forum (JEEMA), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) fielded one candidate each.
Each candidate was required to pay 3 million Shillings prior to nomination, provide an intent letter, provide necessary qualifications for joining Parliament and get an endorsement from a minimum of 20 Members of Parliament, among others. Candidates fronted by political parties were required to provide an introductory letter from the party's Secretary General.
Those nominated on the second day included the six incumbent NRM candidates. These are Mary Mugyenyi, Rose Akol, Stephen George Odongo, Denis Namara, James Kakooza, and Paul Musamali Mwasa.
Others nominated were Gerald Siranda from the Democratic Party, Uganda People's Congress (UPC) Fred Ebil, and Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC), Harold Kaija.
“We have learnt the dynamics of the region and now understand the politics because we have been there. We are going to build on what we have achieved so far in the 4th Assembly,” said Mugyenyi.
Paul Musamali, also an incumbent NRM candidate said that in the current Assembly, they have passed laws to facilitate the integration of the East African Community (EAC) in terms of trade, movement of people, and investment.
He however said that there are still challenges with the implementation of the laws and that once he is elected for a second term, he is working on the sensitization of people and also popularizing the integration agenda.
Siranda said that he brings a comprehensive experience in dialogue, engagement, and positioning Uganda within the seven countries that currently form the EAC.
He said that he seeks to narrow the gap between EALA and the National Assemblies.
According to Siranda, there is a need for EALA MPs to become ex-officio MPs in national parliaments so that they easily account to the people.
Kaija pledged to ensure that no trade barriers exist in the region.
Ebil said that he brings a wealth of knowledge regarding borders and trade and has been a delegate at the 2015 East African Heads of Government Summit, in Nairobi.
Independent candidate Moses Ategeka said that once elected, he will put issues of the underprivileged and special interest groups at the forefront.
Mwesige, said that the nomination documents will be verified by a committee and thereafter, the names of the successful candidates will be gazetted. These will then be invited for open campaigning before Members of the 11th Parliament who form the electorate. The polling day is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, 2022.
According to the EALA road map, by September, Parliament should have selected and gazetted Uganda's representatives to the Arusha-based Assembly.
EALA is an organ of the East African Community -EAC established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.