16 March 2011

Uganda: DP's Mao Congratulates New Mayor

Kampala — Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has put his difference with city Lord Mayor-elect Erias Lukwago aside and congratulated him upon his victory.

Mr Mao described Mr Lukwago's victory on his Facebook page yesterday as the "people's victory". "Congratulations Lord Mayor-elect. Congratulations to the people of Kampala, who used people power to thwart all attempts at rigging. It is a people's victory indeed," Mr Mao wrote.

Mr Lukwago trounced five other candidates, including NRM's Peter Sematimba after garnering 64 per cent of the total vote cast. Although Mr Lukwago claims to be a Democratic Party member, he chose to stand as an independent candidate after a year-long disagreement with Mr Mao over the party's elections in Mbale District in February last year.

Mr Lukwago's faction sees Mr Mao as an illegitimate leader of DP. The DP has, since Mr Lukwago's rebellious stances, been backing Social Democratic Party candidate Michael Mabikke for the top City Hall chair. But in his message, Mr Mao pledged to work with Mr Lukwago during his tenure as the Lord Mayor. "It is a happy day in Kampala. We are all happy for Erias Lukwago who has won mayoral elections in Kampala. We shall support him in his work and share with him the experience we have accumulated," he said. DP party support to Mr Lukwago in Kampala will be very crucial since NRM won most of the council seats.

DP spokesman Mwaka Lutukumoi, in a telephone interview yesterday, said Mr Lukwago is a life member of the DP and although the party did not give him support, their members did. "As much as he stood as an independent, he confesses to be a member of DP. We all congratulate him and look forward to working together," Mr Mwaka said.

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