9 December 2012

Uganda: Museveni to Still Address Parliament

President Yoweri Museveni postponed his address to Parliament in consultation with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, to give legislators time to complete urgent business, the Minister for the Presidency, Frank Tumwebaze, has said.

Tumwebaze said Museveni could not have cancelled the address due to resistance from MPs as reported in some sections of the media on Thursday.

"The President is fully empowered by the Constitution under Article 101(2) to address Parliament from time to time, on any matter of national importance, in consultation with the speaker," Tumwebaze said.

The minister said the President will make the address at a new date yet to be fixed, adding that his address to Parliament "does not in any way compromise the principle of separation of powers alluded to. It in fact, enhances the principle of the Executive accounting to the Legislature."

Tumwebaze said the President's address had been scheduled in consultation with the Speaker, so its cancellation was done in the same way and that it was just a matter of change of programme.

He explained that the President's office as well as the Speaker's office had hoped that by (Thursday) December 6, Parliament would have finished most of its lined up business for the week and thus be able to accommodate the address, which according to the rules of Procedure of Parliament, would require a special sitting.

He said given the special nature and procedure accorded to a sitting of Parliament to hear the President's address and also the business of the week that was still pending in the house, the Office of the President in consultation with the Speaker's office, deemed it fit to re-schedule the address to a date yet to be communicated.

Tumwebaze said to speculate otherwise and insinuate that the President's address was cancelled on account of it being resisted for going against the doctrine of Separation of Powers was misleading.

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