Rwanda has taken over the position of Speaker at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) following the election of its candidate, Martin Ngoga on Tuesday.
Ngonga now becomes the Speaker of the fourth EALA session, succeeding Uganda’s Daniel Kidega whose term expired on Tuesday.
Ngoga was declared Speaker after securing 33 votes defeating Burundi’s candidate, Leontine Nzeyimana who got 3 votes and Tanzania’s Adam Kimbisa who got no vote. Only 36 members out of EALA out of the 54 cast their ballot.
Ngonga’s support came mainly from representatives from Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. He is the first Rwandan to hold the position.
But the exercise leading up to Ngoga’s election was not short of controversy.
It followed two rounds of a vote that was boycotted by both Tanzania and Burundi.
Burundi and Tanzania fronted their own candidates, Leontine Nzeyimana and Adam Kisimba, respectively at last minute and would then abscond from the election on Monday which resulted into a postponement to Tuesday.
The disputed process was already six months behind schedule following the delayal of Kenya to send its representatives due to the dragged Presidential elections.
Ngoga who is a lawyer by profession once served as Prosecutor-General for Rwanda.
The Office of speakership of EALA is held on rotational basis by the East African Community member countries.