Uganda: FDC Rules Out Coalition With People Power Group

23 January 2020

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party secretary general, Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi, has ruled out any possibility of forming a coalition with People Power pressure movement, saying it is not a political party.

People Power is a political pressure group associated with Kyadondo East MP, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, who has since announced his 2021 presidential bid.

Mr Nandala, who is also the MP for Budadiri West in Sironko District, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that they cannot enter a coalition with individuals.

"We cannot enter into any coalition with People Power because it is not a party. We can only do so if we are at the same level of support but we are not," Mr Nandala, who also chairs the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, said.

The former FDC presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, last year backed a proposal of fronting a joint presidential candidate for the 2021 General Election.

Earlier, while addressing FDC supporters during the belated party's 15th anniversary celebrations on Monday, Mr Nandala maintained that FDC is still a strong party.

He added that the party will front a candidate for the 2021 election, who will be elected during the delegates' conference.

"I would love to dispute all that is being said about a coalition with People Power. A party cannot merge with individuals. FDC is still very strong and we are going to front a candidate," he said.

The celebrations took place in Naluwerere Cell in Namakweke Ward in Mbale Town after police blocked the party from holding a public rally at Mpumudde grounds.

The function was attended by, among others, Mr Wasswa Biriggwa, the FDC national chairperson, Mr Jack Wamanga Wamai, the Mbale Municipality MP, and Ms Margaret Wokuri, the chairperson of FDC in Mbale.

Mr Nandala said the big following, which Bobi Wine pulls on rallies, is due to his popularity as a musician but not as a politician.

"People are coming to him not because he is a good politician but a musician. They want to see how he looks like," he said, adding that the hallucinations that Bobi Wine has overshadowed FDC in the country are baseless.

"They cannot do much unless they form themselves into a party. We are a party and with an organised foundation," he said.

The People Power pressure group spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, said they are engaging all Opposition forces to see that they field a joint presidential candidate.

"We have been engaging and we shall continue to engage so that we can succeed in having a joint presidential candidate," he said, adding that FDC electing a presidential candidate will not stop discussions on fronting a sole Opposition presidential candidate.

Mr Biriggwa said FDC has strong structures and grassroots support, which gives it an upper hand in an election.

He also advised voters to elect FDC MPs who will ably represent their views in Parliament.

"Vote out all NRM MPs because they do not represent your views but only their interests," he said.

2016 election

In the 2016 General Election, voters in Mbale District elected two Opposition Members of Parliament (MP), Mr Wamanga for Mbale Municipality, and Mr Sizomu Gashomu Wambede for Bunghokho North.

The NRM party got two MPs, Ms Connie Nakayenze Galiwango and Mr Micheal Werikhe.

The FDC presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, also defeated President Museveni with a difference of 4,715 votes in the district.

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