By Damali Mukhaye
The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat, has said the party officials will rally all their MPs in the 11th Parliament to support Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda for the Speaker race.
The party last week endorsed Mr Ssemujju, who is also the Kira Municipality MP, for the Speaker position and Mr Yusuf Nsibambi, the MP-elect for Mawokota South, to contest for deputy Speaker.
Speaking yesterday on day one of the induction retreat for the FDC MPs-elect in Namugongo on the outskirts of Kampala, Mr Amuriat said they would leave the venue with a common ground with regard to the speaker race. “We are going to have a conversation about leadership in Parliament and this is an area that will encompass the speakership race and other positions in Parliament that may be available for them to grab,” he said.
“It is true that some of our MPs have previously come out openly to support a candidate that is not of the party. But we believe that coming out of this retreat, we should be able to have a common position and if we do not reach a common position, we should be able to see how to manage that uncommon position,” he added.
The race for Speaker has so far attracted four candidates, including the incumbent, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, and her deputy, Mr Jacob Oulanyah.
Mr Amuriat at the same function asked FDC MPs to uphold the party values, warning them that being an opposition MP is not easy.
He said some Opposition legislators have been bribed to pass laws that benefit a few people but added that FDC members have resisted such temptation over the years, and urged the new MPs to borrow a leaf from their predecessors.
The FDC president also asked the FDC MPs to ensure that they legislate on issues that benefit their voters across the country and not mind about their small numbers in the house.
“We are gathered here today to set the agenda for the next five years; we are here to set the tone that we are going to use as we go past every milestone in the next five years. Therefore, it doesn’t matter that we are going to the 11th Parliament as a small percentage of the total House,” Mr Amuriat said.
The incumbent MP for Buhweju County, Mr Francis Mwijukye, said they are ready to work with the new entrants in the House to further the party’s agenda.
Mr Denis Onekalit, the MP-elect for Kitgum Municipality, said much as the National Unity Platform (NUP) party has taken over the leadership of Opposition in Parliament from FDC, the latter’s ideas will not go to waste.
The party’s retreat that ends today is being held under the theme ‘11th Parliament; Better Legislation and Enhanced Party Growth.’
A total of 32 MPs join the 11th Parliament that starts work next month on the FDC ticket.