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The Democratic Alliance | Will the New Opposition Alliance Fly Where the Previous Ones Failed?

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Posted June 10, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Democratic Alliance ~ 2,892 views

     

AllianceKampala- President Museveni’s opponents yesterday seemed to shift their focus from the pursuit of political and electoral reforms without mentioning it. The eight political groups, working together with a number of activists and religious leaders, also ended the debate on a possible election boycott by unveiling a plan for a grand coalition to exert “the final push” against Mr Museveni.

Forum for Democratic Change president Mugisha Muntu said at the launch of the coalition that the Opposition had taken lessons along the way and that the current arrangement is structurally better than those which came before it.

In 1996, Mr Museveni faced the Inter-Political Forces Cooperation alliance (IPFC) under Mr Paul Ssemogerere, before Dr Besigye emerged from within the ruling establishment in 2001 to enlist the support of the Democratic Party.

Dr Besigye again ran as a coalition candidate, under the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) in 2011. Prof John-Jean Barya, a law don at Makerere University, said on the sidelines of the launch that The Democratic Alliance (TDA) is probably the “most potent” coalition force Mr Museveni has ever faced.

The work on the alliance took at least three years, Maj Gen Muntu said, but it is instructive that the final details of the deal were hammered out at Katomi Kingdom Hotel, which belongs to former vice president Gilbert Bukenya.

This brings Prof Bukenya to the centre of the anti-Museveni effort. The professor has in some instances gone back on his word in the past, and there was apprehension within anti-Museveni circles that he would probably drift back to Mr Museveni’s camp as the election drew closer.

At the launch, Prof Bukenya spoke assuredly, urging Mr Museveni’s opponents to tame personal ambitions and “concentrate the candidature into one person” and referring to “a dictator who is emerging and should not be allowed to manage this country for one more day”.
Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi did not attend, but he had able representation in Ms Hope Mwesigye, former woman MP for Kabale, who is also his sister-in-law.

There had been speculation before the briefing on whether Mr Mbabazi, or his agent, would attend. And, indeed, Ms Mwesigye let the speculation run for as long as it could by arriving about halfway through the function.

She, however, had reassuring words for her colleagues: “We agree with all the principles (of the alliance protocol) and we associate with everything therein.”

Bichop Zac Niringiye had told the gathering earlier that Ms Mwesigye and two others had represented Mr Mbabazi at the Katomi meetings where the agreement was hammered out. Ms Mwesigye said that Mr Mbabazi’s group would sign the agreement “soon”.

Prof Barya says if Mr Mbabazi and Prof Bukenya “are determined to go the distance”, the possibility of wooing ruling party supporters to back the anti-Museveni effort is real.
Prof Bukenya is deemed to have capacity to mobilise, especially the central region, against Mr Museveni, while Mr Mbabazi could alter the dynamics in western Uganda, especially Kigezi, where Mr Museveni has always had an upper hand.

In addition to these two former ruling party bigwigs, the alliance is expected to lessen fights within the Opposition parties for the presidential flag bearer job, although there are fears that fights for parliamentary and lower level flag bearer slots could intensify.

What was not mentioned at the launch, however, is that the roadblocks to free and fair elections, which the Opposition have been complaining about, and demanding reforms for, will most likely remain going into the election.

Prof Barya says the unity in the Opposition could galvanise the voters and “render the rigging useless”. Only time will tell.

Source — Daily Monitor – emukiibi@ug.nationmedia.com


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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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