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Daily Monitor | Friday Presidential Debate Still On, Organisers Insist

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Posted January 13, 2016 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in The Roadmap to 2016 ~ 1,341 views

     

The chairman of The Elders Forum Uganda, Justice James Ogoola (L) addresses Journalists during a press conference by the Inter Religious Council at Imperial Royale Hotel on Wednesday. Next to him is the Council's Secretary General, Joshua Kitakule, debate moderators, Nancy Kacungira and Alan Kassujja in that order. PHOTO BY ERIC DOMINIC BUKENYA

The chairman of The Elders Forum Uganda, Justice James Ogoola (L) addresses Journalists during a press conference by the Inter Religious Council at Imperial Royale Hotel on Wednesday. Next to him is the Council’s Secretary General, Joshua Kitakule, debate moderators, Nancy Kacungira and Alan Kassujja in that order. PHOTO BY ERIC DOMINIC BUKENYA

Organisers of the presidential debate scheduled for Friday this week say deliberations are still on since they have not received any official communication from candidates cancelling their participation. Speaking to journalists at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday, Justice James Ogoola, the chairman of the The Elders Forum Uganda (TEFU), one of the organisers also said more than 1,000 people will make up the live audience for the January 15 debate at Serena Hotel.

“We have not received official communication from any of the candidates that they will not participate. To send someone else will not be allowed because it is the candidate looking for the job,” Justice Ogoola said. The assurance comes at a time when uncertainty still hangs over whether President Yoweri Museveni will show up for the first round of two presidential debates set for January 15.
During the campaigns, Mr Museveni was challenged to a debate by his two main challengers, the FDC flag bearer Kizza Besigye and the Go Forward candidate Amama Mbabazi but he has been non-committal on definitively confirming attendance-often blaming the busy campaign schedule.

Asked at a press conference in Kabale last week to come clear on the matter of the debate, Mr Museveni again hinted that the tight schedule as the campaigns hit the home stretch might not allow him the luxury to have time to take on the other seven candidates challenging him for the presidency.
“I address four rallies a day. I do not know what my staff have worked out, if they resolve it, I will attend,” Mr Museveni said.
At the same briefing, Ms Kasule Lumumba, the NRM secretary general, proposed the idea that the party may chose to send a representative to the debate.

But the Inter–Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), the body organising the debate, today reiterated and emphasized the ground rules of the debate-making it clear that representatives of the eight presidential candidates have resolved that only candidates will be allowed to participate in the debate.
“If the candidate cannot come, we shall not accept representation. That chair will remain empty. The sentiments among the candidates are clearly this; that candidates have a lot to gain by personal appearance in the debates,” Justice Ogoola emphasised.

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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