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NRM to determine Speaker as party opens race for highly contested job

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NRM to determine Speaker as party opens race for highly contested job

NRM Electoral Commission boss Tanga Odoi

NRM Electoral Commission boss Tanga Odoi

The NRM Electoral Commission has opened it’s doors to start receiving expressions of interest for the positions of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament.

Only sworn-in NRM MPs will be able to submit their interest to the party’s electoral commission from Tuesday until Friday 21.

The party’s Electoral Commission chairperson Dr. Tanga Odoi says the names of interested members will be forwarded to the party’s Central Executive Committee for vetting later this week.

The names of aspirants that sail through will then be subjected to a secret ballot by all the 337 NRM Members of the 11th Parliament on Sunday May 23rd.

Odoi adds that the names of those who will be declared winners by the party’s Electoral Commission will then be forwarded to parliament to contest for the two seats with candidates from other political parties.

“On Sunday 23rd we shall have the NRM parliament caucus to revive the outcome of the party’s CEC and Monday 24th we shall be waiting for parliament to convene and do its activity of electing the speaker m by then the NRM will have finished its processes”.

The polling procedure is that on polling day the eligible voting members shall be convened by the NRM Electoral commission for the purpose of this election in line with the Ministry of Covid19 guidelines.

Odoi went on to explain that also the aspiring candidates shall each be given ample time to campaign before voting commences.

Each candidate shall nominate two agents from the members of the electorate to witness the polling process and Odoi stressed that the agents must be part of the 11th parliament not outsiders.

“A voters’ register shall be available during voting to identify the rightful voters, voting shall be … I repeat voting shall be by secret ballot and voting by proxy is not allowed”-Odoi stresses

Election of the 11th parliament Speaker and Deputy Speaker is scheduled for Monday May 24th.

Meanwhile Odoi warned that any form of indiscipline exhibited by a candidate during this rigorous process can lead to his/her disqualification from the race.

“I call upon all aspiring candidates to desist from bribery, procuring ineligible persons to vote, publishing false statements as to illness, death, withdrawal or character of a candidate”-Odoi.

The Electoral Commission chairperson further asked candidates for the two positions to conduct themselves in a respectable manner and avoid unbecoming behavior like heckling, shouting through the electoral process.

Whereas there 43 NRM leaning independent MPs, these will not be eligible to take part in the process whether by expressing interest or voting in the NRM parliamentary caucus.

Odoi explains an independent MP can only take part in the NRM party activities if they sign a memorandum of understanding, and swear an oath of allegiance to the party.

When asked why this rigorous electoral nomination process this time round, Odoi said this time is not the first time, the party is calling expressions of interest for the two positions and a vetting exercise by the party’s central Executive Committee. He added that the same process was conducted in 2016 for the speakership race in the 10th parliament.

Meanwhile, according to Odoi the vetting process had to wait until this week because legally no member was eligible for the two positions unless they were duly sworn-in as members of the 11th parliament.

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