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Jacob Oulanyah declared speaker of 11th Parliament

Omoro County MP Jacob Oulanyah has been declared the speaker of the 11th Parliament. He was declared by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo at Kololo independence grounds.

The first session of parliament is chaired by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo. Oulanyah is scheduled to be sworn in as the speaker of the 11th parliament.

Article 82(5) empowers the Chief Justice to preside at an election of a Speaker and the Speaker shall preside at an election of the Deputy Speaker.

The hotly contested election was between two Central executive Committee (CEC) Members, the top organ of the ruling party, the National Résistance Movement (NRM) Jacob Oulanyah, Rebecca Kadaga and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Ssemujju Nganda.

Oulanyah got 310 votes, Kadaga 197, Ssemujju polled 15 votes and three invalid votes.

President Yoweri Museveni is in attendance and is scheduled to witness the swearing in ceremony of the new speaker and deputy speaker of parliament.

He was born in the then Gulu District, on 23 March 1965. He attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr. Obote College Boroboro, and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education.

In 1988, he joined Makerere University, the oldest university in the East African Community, where he studied agricultural economics. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in that subject. That same year, he entered law school, also at Makerere University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He served as speaker of the university students’ guild during his stay at Makerere. In 1995, he attended the Law Development Centre (LDC), where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.

Following his graduation from the LDC, Oulanyah worked as a lecturer at the centre. During the same timeframe, he began private law practice at the law firm of Oulanyah, Onoria and Company Advocates. In 2001, he entered politics by successfully contesting for the parliamentary seat of Omoro County, the then Gulu District under the no-party system also known as the Movement Political System.

He was however a cardholder of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC). He also participated in the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels. In 2006, standing as a UPC candidate, he lost his re-election bid. In July 2006, he quit the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

In 2008 he served as the chairman of the commission of inquiry into the controversial sub-lease of Kisekka Market, one of the municipal markets in the city of Kampala. In March 2011, Oulanyah was elected to represent Omoro County then in Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament, this time on the NRM ticket. He was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2011.

Following the February 2016 general election, Oulanyah was re-elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2016. In the vote, conducted by secret ballot, he received 300 votes, while Mohammed Nsereko received 115. On 13 July 2019, Oulanyah was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Zoe Life Theological College USA and acquired the title, Doctor enabling him be called Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah

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