Nine Ugandan representatives have been voted to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).
They include Ms Rose Akol (NRM), Mr Denis Namara (NRM), Mr James Kakooza (NRM), Mr Stephen George Odongo (NRM), and Mr Paul Musamali (NRM).
Others are Ms Veronica Babirye Kadogo (Ind), Ms Mary Mugyenyi (NRM), Ms Jacqueline Amongin (Ind), and Mr Gerald Siranda (DP).
Lawmakers elected the finalists during a tight day’s exercise yesterday at Parliament following last week’s nomination of all the 28 candidates.
There are 529 legislators in the 11th Parliament with more than 330 of these belonging to the NRM party, 109 are Opposition and the rest are independents.
A total of 478 MPs voted for the Eala representatives, six did not vote, while 11 votes were invalid.
Members of the National Unity Platform (NUP) shunned the exercise after previously affirming they will not field candidates in the election, citing unfairness by the NRM for ring-fencing the majority of the positions, among other reasons.
The successful have vowed to address pertinent issues at Eala, including the blockage of Ugandan exports in neighbouring East African Community (EAC) partner states, protect Uganda’s local industries within the partner states, advocate for more use of Kiswahili language in member states to ease trade and communication as well as coordinate structures with the aim of attaining political unity and pushing for a uniform body of applicable laws.
Ms Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament, urged the winners to base their work on universality.
“Once we vote the nine members, they cease to be party members, they [instead] become members of Eala coming from Uganda,” she said.
Yesterday’s voting exercise started at 10am with campaigns which were followed by the voting process that ended at about 6.30pm before Ms Among recalled the House to give the final results at about 6.55pm.
Article 49 of the EAC Treaty establishes Eala as a legislative organ with core functions, including legislating, oversight and representation.
As the winners celebrated, some of the losers were seen being comforted by their supporters.