Uganda: 2021 Polls - Muntu Carries Ant Flag, but What Next?

(fil photo).

The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), one of the new Opposition political parties in the country, has nominated its founder and former national coordinator, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu as its flag bearer in the 2021 General Election.

Since Gen Muntu didn't have a challenger in the race for the flag, the party electoral commission chairperson Dan Mugarura invoked his authority and declared the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party leader the ANT flag bearer in the forthcoming presidential elections.

Gen Muntu quit FDC in 2017 and later formed ANT after he lost the party presidency to former Kumi legislator Patrick Oboi Amuriat. He walked away with some senior members of FDC, including Mr Mugarura.

The ANT flag gives Gen Muntu a chance to lead his party into negotiations for a possible coalition against the incumbent.

Commenting on what next, Gen Muntu said: "There are processes in which we shall engage with other forces of change. We will have to determine whether it is a coalition or a cooperation, whatever it is, our team will engage to the logical conclusion."

"We will go into these discussions open-minded, first focusing on objectives then we agree on the methods to those objectives because we have observed from the failures of the past that many times we shift our eyes on what is primary and we go into what is secondary."

Speaking to Daily Monitor after his nomination at the ANT party headquarters in Kampala, Gen Muntu said the next journey is to create avenues for a serious onslaught to end President Museveni's long hold on power.

Giving highlight of ANT manifesto, Gen Muntu singled out sectors that he said need total reform, including education, health and the country's economy.

Even though he won the flag unchallenged, Gen Muntu will crisscross the country to engage delegates ahead of the party's August National Delegates Conference, the party's top most organ that will endorse his candidature.

Gen Muntu asked all players in the opposition to learn from factors that befell previous quests for coalitions.

He asked colleagues in the struggle to put personal emotions aside, and front a national agenda.

In the event a coalition fails, Muntu insists he will still steer his party for the Presidency, cushioned by cooperation with other players.

ANT party to choose candidates by consensus

Meanwhile, the party will hold no primaries for its candidates except where consensus fails, Daily Monitor has learnt.

The idea is to embrace a culture of consensus as a primary module for agreeing on candidates, except where it fails, Mr Mugarura said in a telephone interview yesterday.

"As a young party, we are emphasising building consensus on candidates; we have put a committee at each regional level, which is headed by an electoral official at the sub-region for this purpose," he said.

The job, according to Mr Mugarura, is to be executed by the party's grassroots structures composed of the interim district coordinators, sub-regional coordinators, as well as coordinators at the district and sub-county levels.

"They are popularising our party and getting aspirants to show their interest," he said.

Mr Mugarura said there was a set of guidelines that will be issued to the party members and respective structures immediately after presidential nominations slated for today (Wednesday.)

Those interested in running for elective posts are required to first resign their positions, as was the case with Gen Muntu, who is vying for the party's flag for the presidential elections.

With the revised roadmap issued by the Electoral Commission fast approaching, the national electoral body has urged political parties to speed up their internal activities.

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