Teenager wins a seat in Uganda’s parliament
A 19-YEAR-OLD woman has won a seat in Uganda’s parliament, adding to the ruling party’s majority but embarrassing some who say her success lowers expectations of MPs in the East African country.
Proscovia Oromait contested elections deep in eastern Uganda to fill the seat left vacant by her father’s death.
President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling party had been desperate for a win there, having lost seven in eight parliamentary by-elections this year. The polls have come to be widely seen as a test of Mr Museveni’s popularity, and some party bosses calculated she would win with a sympathy vote. The result was Uganda’s youngest MP ever – and a boost for Mr Museveni’s party.
Michael Mukula MP, one of the ruling party’s deputy chairmen, yesterday said Ms Oromait’s win had sent “a lot of ripples” through the party, dividing it into reformers and hardliners who want to win by any means necessary.
“I am a bit taken aback because of her lack of experience and lack of exposure,” he said of Ms Oromait. “This is not a constituency you want to give a child of that age to shoulder.”
Ms Oromait will represent Usuk, an impoverished rural area where dirt roads are flooded in the rainy season and where there is only one high school.
Mr Museveni, who took power by force in 1986, he faces growing pressure to step down.
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