KAMPALA, Uganda: A teenaged young woman fresh out of high school 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 lawmakers in the East African country.
Proscovia Oromait, who is 19 and a college hopeful, 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 Museveni’s popularity, and some party bosses calculated that she would win with a sympathy vote. The result was Uganda’s youngest lawmaker ever and a boost for Museveni’s party.
Michael Mukula, a lawmaker who is one of the ruling party’s deputy chairmen, said Oromait’s win had sent “a lot of ripples” through the organization, dividing it into reformers and hardliners who want to win by any means necessary.