EALA speaker bids farewell to Kagame
The outgoing Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Abdirahin Abdi, whose mandate ends next month, yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame to bid him farewell, at an event held in Village Urugwiro.
Abdi has been the Speaker for EALA, which is the regional parliament’s second assembly, for the past five years.
Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting the Head of State, Abdi said he was delighted to have worked under the chairmanship of President Kagame when he was the chairperson of the East African Community (EAC).
President Kagame was the head of the regional bloc from 2008 to 2009.
“I came to bid farewell to President Kagame and to thank him for all the support he rendered to EALA since the country joined the EAC and also to thank him personally for all the support he gave me as the speaker of EALA,” he said.
Abdi said he had also briefed the Head of State on the assembly’s achievements during the five year period as well as the proceedings in the ongoing meeting of regional parliamentary Speakers and Senate presidents in Kigali.
“We have achieved a lot as an assembly for the betterment of the EAC bloc and I hope the third assembly will build on the foundation we have already built,” he noted.
Abdi pointed out that during his term of office, the second assembly had passed over 35 pieces of legislation and by June, upon his term’s expiry, they will have enacted 40 of them.
“We also managed to bring the EALA institution closer to EAC citizens considering the fact that EALA has been sitting in all EAC partner states on a rotational basis not only bridging relationships between the regional parliaments but also the people of the EAC bloc,” he said, adding that no other EAC institution is as widely known to the EAC population as EALA.
His term also ends with the last sitting of the Second Assembly. EALA is expected to swear in members of the third Assembly on June 5, 2012.
Uganda is scheduled to elect a Speaker to succeed Abdi for a non-renewable five-year term. The first Speaker was Abdulrahman Kinana from Tanzania who served from 2001 to 2006 and was followed immediately by Abdi, who hails from Kenya.
According to the Minister of EAC Affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, who accompanied the EALA speaker to meet President Kagame, the Head of State hailed Abdi for his outstanding efforts during his five year mandate.
“He has done a lot for the community. Rwanda, as a member of the EAC bloc, benefited from the EALA second assembly, especially in passing bills, which favour EAC citizens,” she said.
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