EAC integration

Martin Ngoga : New EALA Speaker from disputed election

Hon. Martin Ngoga from Rwanda is the newly elected Speaker of the fourth East African Legislative Assembly-EALA. The election which was scheduled on 18 December was postponed to 19 December as lawmakers from Burundi and Tanzania had boycotted it.

Mr Martin Ngoga, the fourth speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly

Mr Martin Ngoga, the fourth speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly

Among the activities on the agenda of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) this 18 December in Arusha-Tanzania, were the swearing-in of lawmakers and the election of the EALA Speaker.

All the 54 lawmakers from the six country members (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) sworn in the morning before they took a small break. They later on came back and continued with the activities following the schedule. However, Burundian and Tanzanian MPs did not return from the break to carry on with the remaining activities. The subsequent lack of quorum was marked by a lengthy debate with the remaining lawmakers wondering why their colleagues had chosen to boycott the session. The election of the speaker had been adjourned until 19 December.

Candidates for EALA Speaker were Hon. Adam Kimbisa from Tanzania, Hon. Martin Ngoga from Rwanda and Hon. Léontine Nzeyimana from Burundi.

Burundi currently occupies the position of Secretary General of the bloc. On 18 December, the Burundi EALA chapter lodged a complaint with the Clerk’s Office, claiming that Burundi has the right to apply for Speakership considering the alphabetical order in respect to the principle of rotation.

The first Assembly had Tanzanian Abdulrahman Kinana as Speaker from 2001 to 2006, while the second Assembly had Kenyan Abdirahim Abdi, from 2007 to 2012. The third Assembly to be handed to the newly elected Speaker had the Ugandan Daniel Fred Kidega as its Speaker, from 2012 to 2017.

The fourth Assembly will have the Rwandan Martin Ngoga as its Speaker from 2017 to 2022.He is a former Prosecutor General of Rwanda.