New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Rebecca Kadaga Wanted for President - Survey

A survey by Research World International, whose findings were released last week, shows that Kadaga has the biggest support from Ugandans across the political divide to be the next President of Uganda.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has swiftly emerged as a force to reckon with on Uganda's political scene. A number of politicians within and outside the NRM are looking at her as a potential successor who can lead Uganda when President Yoweri Museveni retires.

The Kamuli woman MP, has had her popularity soar in a span of just one year, premised on the tactful manner in which she has presided over Uganda's Parliament.

Unlike her predecessor, Kadaga continues profiling herself as a people's Speaker by participating in various community functions.

There is belief now, that if you want to invite a top leader as a guestof- honour who will not disappoint you however small the occasion, Kadaga is the person to invite.

This has been interpreted by some to imply Kadaga is trying to build a wider political base which can catapult her into the presidency.

On the contrary, while reacting to her misunderstandings with Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi recently, Kadaga dismissed reports that she was interested in becoming President.

The poll further showed that after President Yoweri Museveni, Kadaga commands the biggest support outside the NRM.

Some analysts say the opposition has lost hope of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)'s Kizza Besigye ever winning an election. Besigye's support declined from 37% in the 2006 presidential elections to 26% in 2011. As such, some in the opposition would rather invest their hope in someone like Kadaga, who they expect to be considerate of their views.

Asked to rate Kadaga's first year as speaker of Parliament, the opposition attorney general, Abdul Katuntu said: "I think Hon. Kadaga is the best Speaker Uganda has ever had.

She has managed to salvage Parliament's image from one which the public viewed as a rubber stamp institution to a respected people and issue-based organ of the state.

The confidence the institution enjoys today is because of Kadaga more than any other person."

The increasing global campaign for a woman President can also compel Kadaga to run for President.

Arguing that male Presidents have messed up Uganda, the Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, recently said the next President should be a woman.

In March this year, outspoken Kabale priest Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda endorsed Kadaga to become the Uganda's first woman President. However, at the moment it all remains speculation.

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