Uganda: Bobi Wine Talk On Coalition Is Premature - Opposition

Robert Kyagulanyi addresses journalists at his home in Magere, Wakiso District.

Opposition leaders have told People Power coordinator Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, to go slow on the decision about the anticipated coalition for 2021 elections.

On Tuesday, while giving updates on the talks for a possible Opposition coalition for a joint candidate for 2021, the People Power executive secretary, Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, who spoke with permission from the People Power leader, said all Opposition leaders should rally behind Bobi Wine.

"Opinion polls and statistics are showing that Bobi Wine is ahead of all the Opposition politicians in Uganda. We have been interesting them to come on board and back him and we chase the man (President Museveni) away then they would be free to go back to their political parties," Mr Rubongoya said.

His remarks have provoked protest remarks from other Opposition leaders. They insist that all the Opposition parties must first select their candidates out of whom one suitable candidate will be selected.

In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, said it is not in order for one to come out and make a pronouncement without any dialogue taking place.

"It is not up to any political group to come to the media and say, join us. This should be coming to the media at a time after some discussions have taken place, which has not happened between the FDC and People Power. It is not all about wishful thinking; something has to be negotiated," Mr Amuriat charged.

He said FDC as a registered political party operates differently from a pressure group like People Power. Mr Amuriat said FDC top managers will meet and discuss a way forward on the coalition.

Key difference

"People Power is a pressure group and FDC is a registered political party, which has a constitution and whatever we partake in has to be guided by our constitution. At the moment, the party is looking for a candidate and once we have got him, we shall sit with other opposition parties, not only People Power, to forge a way forward on the coalition,' he said.

Ms Alice Alaso, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) deputy national coordinator for finance and administration, said People Power should explain to other Opposition parties how they arrived at that decision without consulting them.

"I have no clue what informed their position. Our position remains the same that we shall engage constructively with all the forces in Opposition in order to arrive at the best placed candidate who will lead the Opposition and on very well-structured terms," Ms Alaso said.

"I do not know how they have made that decision. I hope they will reach out to us and explain to us how they got to that and we shall still discuss with them what we think is the best way on the coalition," she added.

Democratic Party vice president Mukasa Mbidde concurred with his Opposition counterparts on the matter.

"All Opposition forces must unite and come out with a unity candidate. That candidate, however, has to come out of a unity process. All candidates that will have been arrived at by political organisations can join a meeting which is a candidate selection that will arrive at a unity candidate," Mr Mbidde said.

Earlier, Bobi Wine admitted to holding talks with different players.

FDC is currently in talks with the party's four-time contender for the presidency, Dr Kizza Besigye, to stand as their flag bearer in 2021. Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu was yesterday declared ANT's unopposed flag bearer in the forthcoming elections.

Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, a former minister of Security who has no party but has also declared intention to contest in 2021, recently said he was in talks with some Opposition leaders for a possible coalition.

Coalition talks

Earlier, Bobi Wine admitted to holding talks with different players. "The talks are still on and we hope that at some point we come together to deliver this country out of the hands of the dictator. But like I already said, I am going to challenge Mr Museveni," he said.

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