Inauguration of East African Legislative Assembly Underway

1911 Views Arusha, Tanzania

In short
On Thursday, Parliament of Kenya elected its nine representatives setting the stage for the inauguration of the Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania this morning. These are now taking oath alongside legislators from all the other EAC member states. The administration of oath is presided over by the Clerk.

The inaugurated of the fourth East African Legislative Assembly is underway in Arusha, Tanzania. The event ends six months of inactivity for the assembly, whose operations were paralyzed by delays in the election of Kenyan representatives.

The assembly, an organ of the East African Community is mandated with legislation, representation and oversight.  It is constituted of nine elected members from each of the Partner States.

Although the 3rd Assembly wound up its tour of duty on June 4, 2017, the fourth assembly could not start its work because only Parliament of Uganda, Parliament of Burundi and Parliament of Rwanda had finalized the processes by then.  The election of Kenyan representatives had been delayed by the presidential and Parliamentary elections in the country.

The appointment of South Sudan representatives had also been challenged before the East African Court of Justice by South Sudan lawyer Wani Santino Jada on condition that the nine would-be legislators had been handpicked by South Sudan president Gen Salva Kiir.

Wani said that the act was in violation of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and the article four of the East African Legislative Assembly Election Act.  Both regulations give the mandate to the National Assembly in each Partner State.  The Transitional National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan revisited the issue and held fresh elections on August 3, 2017, before filing the names with EALA.

The stalemate in Kenya and South Sudan caused a deadlock in the regional body because it cannot conduct any business in the absence of one partner state. As such, the administration of oath for the other legislators in the assembly was suspended indefinitely.

On Thursday, Parliament of Kenya elected its nine representatives setting the stage for the inauguration of the Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania this morning.  These are now taking oath alongside legislators from all the other EAC member states. The administration of oath is presided over by the Clerk.

Later they will be electing a speaker who will take over from Uganda's Daniel Kidega.

 

About the author

Sylvia Nankya
Sylvia is an Editor and Media Trainer with Uganda Radio Network. She has been a URN staff member since 2013. Sylvia has previously worked as a reporter and news anchor with Radio One (2001-2009) and with Vision Group (2009-2011). Six of her active years in Journalism were spent covering the Parliament of Uganda.

Over the past few years, Sylvia has worked to promote the positive development of societies recovering from conflict through training journalists on choices of stories, how they report issues and use of appropriate language in covering conflict and post-conflict situations.

She is an Alumni of RNTC- Holland, Les Aspin Centre for Government at Marquette University-WI, USA and a Community Solutions Fellow.