Uganda: Among Threatens to Crack Down On Opposition MPs Boycotting Parliament

Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among issued a stern warning to boycotting opposition legislators, threatening to invoke parliamentary rule of absence if their prolonged absence continues.

The Speaker’s strong stance centers on the opposition’s refusal to participate in parliamentary sessions, prompting her to consider Rule 112(6) to address the matter.

Speaking from the chair, Among emphasised the need for members to engage in parliamentary proceedings, stating, “Let’s be here and solve people’s problems. I will count the 15 sittings. Rule 112(6) prohibits a member from being absent from fifteen or more sittings without the Speaker’s permission during continuous parliamentary sessions,” Among stated.

Despite the Speaker’s warnings, the opposition remains unfazed, asserting that they formally communicated their absence to the Speaker.

Chief Opposition Whip John Baptist Nambeshe rebuked the Speaker’s pronouncements, highlighting ongoing communication between the leader of the opposition and the Speaker regarding their boycott.

In response to the situation, Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Nuwagaba reassured his colleagues, stating.

“Not under Rule 89, I would like to assure the opposition members to stay calm and fight for the interests of the people whose rights have been violated.”

The Speaker also announced that the government will present a comprehensive statement on human rights violations, addressing the opposition’s concerns, on November 21st.

The opposition, having missed over five sittings during their boycott, remains resolute in advocating for what they believe is right, with Nambeshe affirming that nothing will deter them.

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