Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Suspends Meetings Over Unruly Behavior

UPDATE: NTV has a report on the suspension of sessions:

In an surprising move, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended sessions of Parliament due to the contentious Tuesday setting. The chaotic session was cut short by Kadaga due to rowdy behavior on the part of some MPs who were unhappy with the re-introduction of a clause to a bill on the petroleum sector which would give the Executive branch control of the nation’s growing oil industry. Here are the details from the Parliament website:

The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Kadaga Rebecca has suspended sittings of the House and directed the Parliament Committee on Rules Privileges and Discipline to review the behaviour of MPs in Tuesday’s Sitting.

In her address to Parliament November 28, the Speaker described the conduct exhibited by Members in yesterday’s prematurely adjourned House as unparliamentarily, unruly and disorderly. She said the behaviour exhibited by some MPs was beneath the dignity and honour expected of Honourable Members.

“Honourable Members, yesterday I prematurely adjourned the House because the atmosphere was not conducive for handling any meaningful business. Some honourable Members were rowdy, involved in heckling, shouting slogans and generally disrupted the proceedings of Parliament. ,” she told legislators.

The Speaker reminded MPs to follow the provisions in the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure that cater for the behaviour of Members during debate, and ensure that there is order and discipline on the part of Members when handling any business.

“In a democratic institution like ours, it is expected that members across the divide will listen to each other, respect the others view and ultimately negotiate until a consensus is arrived at. When a consensus cannot be arrived at, then the last option that can be explored is voting through any of the ways provided for in the Rules of Procedure. This is the behaviour which I expect from honourable members”, Speaker Kadaga added.

The Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee has been directed by the Speaker to review and analyse video recordings of the house with a view of recommending punitive action against any members whose behaviour could have disrupted the proceedings of Parliament.

The Committee is to table its report before Parliament on Monday December 3, 2012.

If indeed Kadaga makes good on this action, then debate on the oil bills, the Accountants Bill and now the report of the Privileges and Discipline Committee will most likely come before any action on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.


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