Parliamentary Crossroads: Opposition Divided Over Sessions Boycott

-LOP Mpuuga Insists on Initial Stance

By Insight Post Uganda


As the parliamentary plenary session is set to resume today (November 14) after a two-week partial recess, the opposition finds itself at a crossroads.

It is currently grappling with internal divisions on whether to persist with the boycott of parliament sittings or to re-enter the legislative arena and confront their concerns head-on.  

This division arises against a backdrop where certain opposition lawmakers are showing signs of weariness, while others firmly assert that rejoining without concrete concessions would mean accepting an unfavourable arrangement.

The pause in parliamentary proceedings was initiated on October 31st by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa in response to the opposition’s boycott, which had led to a deadlock in the house.  

As the legislative business prepares to resume, the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, remains resolute in maintaining their stance, stating that nothing substantial has transpired to warrant a return.

On Monday, Mpuuga, addressed the media at Parliament highlighting the opposition’s frustration with the lack of progress in discussions with government agencies.

The LOP cited the inclusion of a human rights item on this week’s order paper but insisted that this alone wouldn’t entice their return.

The opposition demands a thorough examination of the government’s statement on human rights before considering any shift in their position. However, not all opposition members are in alignment with the prolonged boycott.  

Dennis Onekalit Amere, representing Kitgum Municipality and a member of the FDC, expressed his discontent, asserting that it is time for the opposition to re-enter the house and advocate from within its chambers.

In a surprising gesture, some NRM legislators have extended an olive branch to their opposition counterparts, urging them to end the boycott and rejoin parliamentary proceedings.

They pledge to collaborate and amplify the opposition’s grievances once inside the house, signalling a rare moment of bipartisan outreach.

The opposition’s grievances, encapsulated in six points, include the demand for information on 18 missing persons, alleged targeting and victimisation of Muslims, detention without trial, human rights violations in fishing communities, the perceived shrinking of civic space, and the contentious issue of trying civilians in the court martial.

The opposition caucus is slated to convene on Wednesday to deliberate on these matters and make a final decision on the path forward.

The outcome of this meeting is anticipated to shape the trajectory of parliamentary dynamics and the opposition’s strategy in addressing the pressing issues at hand.

The political landscape remains tense as stakeholders await the resolution of this internal discord within the opposition ranks.


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