19-year-old Proscovia Alengot Oromait is now the youngest Member of Parliament in African history after running for and winning the MP position left vacant by her father in Usuk County of eastern Uganda. The teenager had been planning to go to university, but was derailed following her father's death when she felt the pull to go into politics. Oromait beat out eight other candidates, having garnered 11,059 votes (her closest rival got 5,329 votes).
Some critics remain dubious of Oromait's capabilities and chalk her win up to sympathy votes and the voters attachment to her father. As political analyst Angero Izama puts it:
"Her youth has nothing to do with her election. It all boils down to sympathy votes because her father was a staunch, popular and senior person at NRM. People will be drawn to her youth more than her performance because she represents a very large majority."
MP Oromait is ready to face critics head on, however, and believes that, from her experience and the knowledge she gained helping her father, she is best for the job. She says, "My focus is to work on roads, fight cattle-rustling, elevate the education standards in the district."
And as for her age? Oromait had this to say:
"It does not matter. It's not age that works, it's the brain and the knowledge that one has."