Deputy Speaker Issues Guidelines on Conduct and Dress Code in Parliament

Deputy Speaker Issues New Rules, Opposition MPs Walk Out Again
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Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has urged members of parliament to uphold decorum and dignity in their legislative work. He emphasized the importance of following the rules of the House and avoiding personal attacks or character assassination.

To maintain order during parliamentary sessions, the Deputy Speaker introduced new rules and highlighted two critical regulations that all members must adhere to. He reminded lawmakers not to use offensive or abusive language, make improper insinuations about fellow members, or engage in misconduct that attacks other members.

The Deputy Speaker outlined Rule 83, which governs members’ behavior during sessions. It includes guidelines for entering and leaving the house, moving within the chamber, maintaining silence when another member is speaking, and refraining from interrupting maiden speeches. The rule also restricts bringing items unrelated to parliamentary business, such as cameras, weapons, and tape recorders, into the house. Additionally, clapping is prohibited.

Rule 83(2) allows members to bring in specific electronic devices that do not disrupt proceedings or compromise security.

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In his announcement, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa prohibited impromptu reactions to the Speaker’s communication and emphasized the importance of adhering to the official dress code. He specified that only African wear, such as suits, would be allowed, and shirts would no longer be permitted in the house. Exceptions could be made for members with injuries who approach the Speaker in advance.

Furthermore, members were banned from approaching the Speaker’s chair during plenary sessions, with limited exceptions for the leader of government business, the leader of the opposition, and the government chief whip, who would need to use chits to request an audience.

The Deputy Speaker concluded by stating that he would uphold the rules created by the members themselves and that his rulings would be final, with provisions for challenging them.

In a separate part of the session, the House observed a moment of silence in honor of two tourists and a Ugandan guide who were killed by suspected ADF rebels in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Deputy Speaker Tayebwa expressed condolences for the tragic incident, which had negative implications for the tourism sector, which was already recovering from the impact of COVID-19. He emphasized the need to assure the safety of visitors in the country and maintain focus on national security.

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