18 June 2018

Uganda: Basalirwa Has No Support, Says FDC

Bugiri — Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party members have once again failed to convince Justice Forum (Jeema) candidate Asuman Basalirwa to withdraw from the Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament race in favour of their candidate, Ms Eunice Namatende.

The FDC president, Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat, while addressing supporters and party members at Bugiri Hospital grounds at the weekend, claimed that according to a survey carried out across all parishes in Bugiri Municipality, Mr Basalirwa lacks enough support to win the election.

"You cannot move alone and expect victory; come and join us to fight against the enemies of the Opposition," Mr Amuriat said, warning that divisions within the Opposition will give chance to the NRM party to win all the positions in the Municipality.

"I want to tell you my brother (Basalirwa) that as FDC, we cannot withdraw our candidate because she is stronger than you and is likely to win the seat," Mr Amuriat said.

He was accompanied by FDC vice president in charge of eastern region Salaamu Musumba, FDC secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi, FDC chairperson women's league Ingrid Turinawe and Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru.

Mr Amuriat, however, said FDC will soon hold another meeting with Jeema officials to resolve the matter.

This is the second time both parties have failed to agree on fielding a single candidate.

Last month, while addressing a press briefing in Kampala, Mr Amuriat announced that FDC would not be fielding a joint candidate with Jeema.

"We (the two parties) have failed to agree on the process by which a joint candidate for the newly created Municipality seat would be chosen," he said.

Mr Amuriat made the announcement a day after the collapse of talks between both parties.

However, Jeema officials insist that FDC leaders had known that they would not be turning up on May 18 as a follow up to the initial talks on May 9. Other candidates in the race include John Francis Oketcho (NRM), Siraji Lyavala Samanya and Joel Wamono, both independents.

Undeterred

However, Mr Asuman Basalirwa said he cannot withdraw from the race because he is from a different party, adding that people of Bugiri Municipality will make their choice on poling day.

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