Dr Francois Xavier Kalinda, who was last month elected to the East African Legislative Assembly, was Tuesday sworn in.
Kalinda took the oath of office alongside the re-appointed Burundian Minister for EAC Affairs, Leontine Nzeyimana, who became an ex-officio Member of the House, before the East African Legislative Assembly, currently sitting in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Oath of Allegiance to the House was administered by the Clerk of EALA, Kenneth Madete before the EALA Speaker, Daniel F. Kidega.
Both legislators took the oath in accordance with Rule 5 (4) of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.
The Rules of Procedure say in part that: “No Member can sit or participate in the proceedings of the House until the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to the Treaty is taken.”
Rule 5(5) states that “when a Member first attends to take his or her seat other than at the first sitting of a new House, he or she shall be brought to the table by two Members and presented by them to the Speaker who shall then administer the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance.”
Dr Kalinda was accompanied by MP Valerie Nyirahabineza and Dr Odette Nyiramilimo, both from Rwanda.
Dr Kalinda was elected by the Rwandan Parliament to EALA on September 15, replacing Celestine Kabahizi who tendered in his resignation from the Assembly in June 2015.
The legislator garnered 79 votes to beat his rival Pelagie Uwera, who got 12 votes, out of 91 lawmakers of both chambers of Parliament.
Dr Kalinda assured Parliament that he would diligently use his expertise while at EALA and work with his new colleagues in a bid to find solutions to the region’s problems.
Prior to his election, Dr Kalinda, was the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Rwanda. Dr Kalinda 53, holds a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Business Law obtained from the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2010.
After graduating from the then National University of Rwanda in 1996, he pursued a Master of Law in Intellectual Property Rights at the University of Ottawa, in Canada, completing in 1999.
Nzeyimana, who was recently re-appointed Burundi Minister for EAC by President Pierre Nkurunziza, was ushered into the House by MPs Emerence Bucumi and Isabelle Ndahayo.