Today Parliament conducts a by-election to fill the existent vacancy in Uganda’s representation to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) the demise of Hon. Kasamba Mathias, on 27th April 2021.
The late Kasamba was one of Uganda’s representatives to EALA on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket, after the EALA elections conducted on 28th February 2017.
The East African Legislative Assembly is the legislative organ of the East African Community and consists of members elected from outside the national Parliaments of the five partner states, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Section 8 of the East African Legislative Assembly Elections Act, 2011 provides that a by-election would be conducted within 90 days from when the Speaker of EALA communicates the existence of a vacancy.
Ahead of the by-election, the Deputy Speaker on 21st July 2021, appointed a nineteen member committee chaired by Hon. Fox Odoi Oywelowo to verify and vet the suitability of the candidates to the requirements of Article 50 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.
The committee will have to present the report to the House on the suitability of the candidates before the elections are held.
The membership of EALA currently stands at 62, with nine Elected Members from each of the six EAC Partner States and eight Ex-officio Members. The representatives are indirectly elected, being voted into their positions by their respective Parliaments.
The EAC Treaty requires that the Members should represent the diversity of views present in their own National Assemblies, and also that their selection meets certain criteria for gender balance.
The Ex-official Membership of EALA consists of those Ministers of each Partner State responsible for regional co-operation. Assistant Ministers may participate in the Assembly when Ministers are not present. The Secretary-General of the EAC and the Counsel to the Community are also Ex-officio Members.