Rwanda’s Ngoga is new EALA speaker

Former Rwanda Prosecutor-General Martin Ngoga has been elected Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Ngoga garnered 33 votes from 36 votes cast in an exercise held at the East African Community (EAC) headquarters in Arusha Tuesday evening.
Martin Ngoga speaks during a past EALA session in Kigali. (File)
Martin Ngoga speaks during a past EALA session in Kigali. (File)

Former Rwanda Prosecutor-General Martin Ngoga has been elected Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).  

Ngoga garnered 33 votes from 36 votes cast in an exercise held at the East African Community (EAC) headquarters in Arusha Tuesday evening.

He becomes the first Rwandan to hold the position.  

Ngoga was overwhelmingly backed by his colleagues from Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.  

However, MPs from Burundi and Tanzania abstained.

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Martin Ngoga shortly after he was elected speaker of the EALA. (James Karuhanga)

The two countries, in a surprise move, fronted their own candidates, Leontine Nzeyimana and Adam Kisimba, respectively, over the weekend.

Each of the six partner states is represented by nine members in the Assembly.

The election was initially scheduled to take place yesterday but it was called off after Burundian and Tanzanian MPs boycotted the exercise – a move that irked their counterparts from the other partner states who questioned the motive, arguing that they should have gone ahead and presented their candidates on the floor of the House instead of staying away.

The current EAC Secretary-General is Burundian, while Tanzania has already held the rotating position of EALA speaker.

Shortly after his election, Ngonga immediately assumed his new role.

EALA started a new session yesterday.

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Ngoga is joined in a group photo by regional legislators after he was sworn in as speaker of EALA. (Courtesy)

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