, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20 – The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has finally picked a new Speaker in a tense election that was boycotted by Tanzania and Burundi.
Martin Ngoga, a member of the regional Parliament from Rwanda garnered 33 votes against three by his closest competitor Leontine Nzeyimana from Burundi.
Members who were in the Assembly finally pushed for the election of the Speaker after two Tanzanian lawmakers protested over a decision to have their country withdraw its candidate, Adam Kimbisa, from the race.
The MPs, led by the outspoken Suzan Nakauki and Fred Mbidde Mukasa, both from Uganda, requested fellow lawmakers from Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and their country to proceed with the vote despite a boycott by Tanzania and Burundi.
It was after 5pm that members in the House finally reached consensus that a new Speaker should be elected.
There were only two Tanzanian legislators in the chamber, Ngwaru Maghembe and Abdullah Makame, and one from Burundi, when the decision was reached despite their opposition.