Last week, the Democratic Party (DP) confirmed that the party president general, Norbert Mao, was in talks with Kyandondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, who doubles as the People Power movement leader and the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Gen. Mugisha Muntu, over who will be the joint presidential candidate under the banner of the People Power movement.
However, according to FDC, the coalition talk is diversionary. The party spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said the FDC engagement in 2019 and 2020 would be for increased internal party activities to build structures and mobilize the population against the NRM party and to ensure that President Yoweri Museveni does not appear on the ballot paper in 2021.
Addressing journalists during the weekly party press conference at Najjanankumbibased party headquarters in Kampala yesterday,
“We think it is diversionary to start thinking about 2021 other than discussing Museveni’s early departure. People are still in court to say the removal of age limit was illegal, but people are busy discussing the coalition against Museveni and him being a sole candidate.”
“If colleagues want to concentrate on discussing the next general elections, we are sorry. We wish them well, but the first target for FDC is to ensure that Museveni goes before 2021.”
As a party, FDC has a constitution which provides for party primary elections to choose candidates. The time to call for a flag bearer will come. At the moment, we are building party structures, training leaders because our activities go beyond elections,” .
The NRM central executive committee and parliamentary caucus have already expressed interest in having Museveni as their sole candidate in 2021 and beyond, a role he has accepted. Social Democratic Party, DP and Peoples Development Party (PDP) have since agreed on a DP-block and proposed an opposition election campaign strategy for 2021 dubbed “one-to-one model.”
They said other than fielding a joint presidential candidate, Opposition political parties should also field candidates in the parliamentary and local council elections basing on each party’s strength in the region.
Sensitization drive Ssemujju said officials led by the party president, Eng. Patrick Amuriat Oboi, and the former party presidential candidate, Col Dr Kizza Besigye, were traversing the country in a fresh mobilization drive. He said they will engage in sensitizing the party leadership and supporters.
However, Ssemujju said, in both Kaliro and Soroti districts where the officials visited on Thursday and Saturday respectively, they were confronted and dispersed by the Police despite having notified the Police. The party engagements were funded by the Netherlands Facility on Inter-party Democracy under the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD).
Despite the Police interference, Ssemujju said this week the party will take their campaign to Bushenyi, Kasese and Mbarara districts.