The Observer (Kampala)

18 March 2014

Uganda: Opposition Gives Museveni Ultimatum

Photo: Capital FM
Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

The opposition today gave President Museveni one month to respond to their demand for reforms or face 'consequences'. At a caucus meeting with their MPs today, opposition leaders, along with other political activists, gave President Museveni up to the end of April 2014 to respond to their proposed electoral reforms.

The meeting at Parliament's conference hall attracted leaders from the mainstream opposition political parties: Norbert Mao (DP), Gen Mugisha Muntu (FDC) and Olara Otunnu (UPC). Former FDC President Kizza Besigye and retired Kampala Assistant Bishop Dr Zac Niringiye also attended.

"We have given ourselves a task of working together in Parliament; secondly, to work together to ensure free and fair elections, and we have again rejected the by-election to replace (city Lord Mayor Erias) Lukwago because he still has the mandate of the electorate as elected Lord Mayor," Otunnu, the group's spokesman, said.

"We have put forward a basket of demands and among our proposals, we want a national consultative meeting [on the proposed electoral reforms] and we expect Museveni to respond to them," he added.

Key among reforms proposed by the opposition is the institution of an independent electoral commission that can organise a free and fair election.

"If he doesn't respond to them, he must bear the responsibility and the consequences. There would be no second guess, because the Museveni we know would want to get the photo opportunity with us, and then deny the resolutions later," Otunnu told journalists.

Niringiye said Museveni could not solve all the manipulations because he was a direct beneficiary.

Mao:

We have learnt that during the closed-door three-hour meeting, opposition leaders took time to question Mao on his statements against Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. Mao has previously attacked Lukwago during his weekly DP press conferences at City House.

Mao said his remarks about Lukwago should not be construed to mean that he would back an "illegal" process to replace him (Lukwago).

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