Statement by the Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC) council of ministers on the commencement of the 4th East African Legislative Assembly
The purpose of inviting you this morning is to brief you on why the 4th East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has not yet been convened. Upon consultation with the Secretary General, the Clerk, and the Counsel to the Community, I take this opportunity to brief you on the situation as follows:
As you are aware, the term of office of the 3rd Assembly ended on 4th June 2017.
Elections of new Members to constitute the next (4th) Assembly were expected to have been finalized by then by all Partner States so that the 4th Assembly would commence on 5th June 2017. This did not happen because of two factors namely;
a) One of the Partner States (Republic of Kenya) had by that date not elected its nine (9) Members; and
b) Upon an application by a citizen of one of the Partner States (the Republic of South Sudan), the East African Court of Justice issued Interim Orders to the EAC not to recognize the nine Members who were said to have been elected to EALA and the Republic of South Sudan has since undertaken to rectify this problem.
As a result of the foregoing, the 4th Assembly could not commence on 5th June 2017. It is imperative to note that the first session of the first meeting of the Assembly shall be convened by the Clerk in Arusha, in the United Republic of Tanzania, purposely to swear in the Members and elect a Speaker. In the current circumstances, that business cannot be transacted without the presence of Members from all the Partner States (Quorum) this is because two of the Partner States, Republic of Kenya and Republic of South Sudan, are yet to carry out the elections of their nine (9) Members.
The Clerk is therefore constrained to convene a Sitting of the Assembly when fully aware that the Assembly is not fully constituted and cannot transact any business.
It should be recalled that the commencement of the Second Assembly was delayed by six months from 29th November 2006 to 4th June 2007 due to similar and or related circumstances. The second Assembly served its 5-year term effective from 5th June 2007 and ended 4th June 2012. A precedent has therefore been set and similarly the five year term of the 4th Assembly will run as soon as the Assembly is fully constituted to be sworn in and transact business.
Rt. Hon. Alhaj Kirunda Kivenjija
2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs, Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers
Date: 25th July 2017