The debate by Uganda’s Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders regarding the position of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament has triggered some questions in my mind. Too lazy to read the Constitution and the laws that govern parliament, I seek guidance from my learned friends.
First let us go back to February 19, 2016, the day after the voting exercise. The unthinkable has happened and Badru Kiggundu has announced the following:
Kizza Besigye 52%
Yoweri Museveni: 35%
Amama Mbabazi: 12 %
President of Uganda 2016-2021: Kizza Besigye
Yoweri Museveni, the incumbent ruler, peacefully hands over power to President Kizza Besigye on May 12, 2016. The latter is now Head of the Executive Branch and appoints the cabinet ministers, among them Tamale Kirundi, in charge of Foreign Affairs.
- NRM: 293 seats**
- Independents: 66 seats
- FDC: 36 seats
- DP: 15 seats
- UPC: 6 seats
They elect their Speaker: Hajji Muhammad Nsereko and Deputy Speaker: Susan Amero
** Even if we gave 60 of the NRM seats to FDC (in a fraud-free election), the NRM would still have the majority in parliament.
- Which party would form the Opposition in Parliament?
- Which party would appoint the Leader of the Opposition?
- Does the person who holds the presidency determine the decisions of parliament?
- Would Parliament remain pegged onto the fate of the presidency? In other words, does appointing the Leader of Opposition mean recognition of the occupant in State House?
These are sincere questions by someone who has not taken any position on the debate, for I do not really know what it all means. When I look at the example of the US Congress, there have been many times when the minority in one or both houses has been the party whose candidate won the presidency.
Answers to these questions may help me and, more importantly, the FDC leaders who are struggling with the decision.