EALA on Tuesday elected 12 commissioners - two from each country - in a technologically advanced election to prevent the Coronavirus pandemic. In the by-elections, four deputies will serve in the Assembly’s remaining tenure after the principal committee’s first two and a half term of office ended on June 19.
Elected candidates include Oda Gasinzigwa and Dr François-Xavier Kalinda from Rwanda and Dr Oburu Oginga and Wanjiku Muhia from Kenya.
Tanzania has nominated new representatives, Dr. Ngwaru Maghembe and Josephine Lemoyaan, Burundi’s Jean Marie Muhirwa, and Mo Mamo Karerwa. It is the same with Uganda and South Sudan that have appointed new commissioners.
EALA’s rules of procedure stipulate that when a country nominates only two people for the post of commissioner in this parliament, it is immediately counted as elected, but when more than two people are nominated, it requires a secret ballot.
Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, and Tanzania have agreed on two candidates for the post of commissioner, but Uganda and South Sudan have given several names, leading to elections.
This commission is an important body as it is responsible for overseeing and organizing the activities and programs of the General Assembly, and appointing members of various commissions related to the work of this Parliament.
The commission also briefed the Cabinet on the need for staff to assist the Assembly in its work. It is chaired by the Speaker of Parliament and monitors the budget of the Parliament.
The EALA is the EAC’s governing body, consisting of 62 people, including 54 MPs elected from member states each giving nine, plus eight others from the EAC Ministers in the Member States, the EAC Secretary-General and their lawyer.
On Tuesday Rwanda’s new State Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof Nshuti Manasseh, virtually took the oath of allegiance as an ex-officio member of the Assembly.
Gasinzigwa was elected to represent Rwanda at the EALA in May 2017 on behalf of the RPF Inkotanyi, as well as Kalinda François Xavier from the PSD.