The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) yesterday elected twelve Commissioners two per Partner State to serve the 4th Assembly for the balance of its life- a two and a half year period.
The elections held yesterday afternoon during the virtual sitting, saw the return of four unopposed Commissioners who served in the previous Commission (whose tenure ended on Friday, June 19th, 2020).
The re-elected (unopposed) Members are Hon Dr Oburu Oginga and Hon Wanjiku Muhia (Republic of Kenya) and Hon Oda Gasinzigwa and Hon Dr Francois Xavier Kalinda (Republic of Rwanda).
The United Republic of Tanzania’s new representatives to the Commission are Hon Dr Ngwaru Maghembe and Hon Josephine Lemoyaan. From Burundi, Hon Jean Marie Muhirwa and Hon Mo Mamo Karerwa are the new Commissioners. The new Commissioners from Burundi replace Hon Leontine Nzeyimana and Hon Chris Nduwayo.
The Rules provide that Partner States that nominate two Members for the Commission, shall duly be declared as elected. The Republics of Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania each nominated two Members to the Commission while the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of South Sudan nominated more than two Members for the post of Commissioners, thereby necessitating a vote by secret ballot.
The elections saw EALA install Republic of Uganda’s Hon Rose Okullu Akol (49 Votes) and Hon Mary Mugyenyi, (28 votes) while immediate past Commissioner, Hon Susan Nakawuki, received 25 votes.
Republic of South Sudan had four contestants, Hon Kim Ruot Gai, Hon Gideon Gatpan Thoar, Hon Gabriel Alaak Garang and Hon Dr Woda Jeremiah Odok. Hon Gideon Gatpan Thoar scooped 40 votes to be elected. Two Members, Hon Kim Gai Ruot and Hon Dr Woda Jaremiah Odok, however, received 28 votes a piece, prompting the Speaker, to call for Round 2 of the votes to break the tie, while Hon Gabriel Alaak Garang got 6 votes.
In the second round, Hon Dr Woda Jeremiah Odok was elected to the Commission getting 29 votes against Hon Kim Ruot, who got 23 votes.
Last week, each Partner State nominated Members for the election to the Commission in accordance with Rule 83(3) of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.
Earlier on yesterday, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges, Hon Ndangiza Fatuma moved a Motion under Section (3) (2) of the Administration of EALA Act, 2012, listing the nominations of Members on the floor to constitute the EALA Commission, country by country.
Prior to the elections, the Members from South Sudan and Uganda were each given three minutes to address the Assembly to justify their presence in the EALA Commission.
At the end of the exercise, Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Ngoga Martin declared the results after the Office of the Clerk had tallied the votes and transmitted the outcome to the Speaker.
Elections of Members of the Commission are held in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Administration of EALA Act, 2012. The functions of the Commission include managing, organizing the business and programmes of the Assembly, as well as the nomination of Members to the Standing and other Committees of the House.
The Commission further recommends to the Council of Ministers, the appointment of the Clerk and other Officers of the Assembly. The Commission which is chaired by the Speaker, also causes to be prepared each Financial Year, the estimates of revenue expenditure for the Assembly for the next Financial Year.
Elected Members of the EALA Commission at a Glance
Republic of Burundi
1. Hon. Jean Marie Muhirwa
2. Hon. Mo Mamo Karerwa
Republic of Kenya
1. Hon. Dr. Oburu Oginga
2. Hon. Wanjiku Muhia
Republic of Rwanda
1. Hon. Oda Gasinzigwa
2. Hon. Dr. Francios Xavier Kalinda
United Republic of Tanzania
1. Hon. Dr. Ngwaru Maghembe
2. Hon. Josephine Lemoyaan
Republic of South Sudan
1. Hon. Gideon Gatpan Thoar
2. Hon. Dr. Woda Jeremiah Odok
Republic of Uganda
1. Hon. Mary Mugyenyi
2. Hon. Rose Okullu Akol