World’s Youngest Member of Parliament

Proscovia Oromait, who turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, is Africa’s youngest and is suspected to be the world’s youngest legislator. Just months earlier she had been still at school in Uganda  studying for her A-levels, but now she has much larger fish to fry. Her original plan was to finish her education first, but she was thrust into the spotlight in July last year by the sudden death of her father, the MP Michael Oromait. Ms Oromait threw herself into campaigning, and in September she won the by-election for his seat in Usuk County, with the backing of President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. She stated earlier this month that she is “so proud of what [she] is”.

Proscovia Oromait

However, behind what may seem like an innovative move in politics, feelings are mixed. Ms Oromait’s age has caused a stir in a country where President Museveni, 68, has five septuagenarians in his Cabinet and the average age of ministers is 62. Already the critics are lining up decry her lack of experience, no matter that she more accurately represents a nation where 78 per cent of the population is under 30. Many would argue that a politician should be relatively old as they are likely to have greater knowledge, expertise and experience thus being a positive force on politics. But, the debate lies in whether a young politician, like Oromait, could do the job just as well as an older politician or are they doomed for failure?!

We hand the debate to you…

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Digestible Politics

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5 comments on “World’s Youngest Member of Parliament

  1. drrik says:

    A 20 year old human brain is not wired, ie not able, to place appropriate value on future consequences. This myelinization process does not comlplete untill early 20s at the earliest.

  2. wgbwp says:

    its a change- but she can use the wisdom of elders in her party. Pakistan has seen something similar in shape of young woman prime ministers- didn’t go well for the country as the country was young democratically- but for Africa the equation is very different!

  3. Considering how poorly older leaders across the globe have done, give her a chance to do better. At least the younger large population of her country can relate to her.

  4. And who is to question what her father has taught her? they don’t live in the pop culture world like we do, so I am sure, her mind isn’t riddled with such things. In time, her actions and words will speak for themselves, and only then can one say, she was ready or not ready for the job.

  5. Niebuhr says:

    There was a member of the German Pirate Party who became a member of the Berlin Parliament in 2011, who was 19 at the time: http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/leben/juengste-piraten-abgeordnete-man-muss-kein-nerd-sein-a-787114.html

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