Friday, September 24, 2010


Tuesday, 21st September, 2010

By Barbara Among and Moses Mulondo
DEMOCRATIC Party leader Norbert Mao yesterday made a scathing attack on Col. Kizza Besigye, the 2011 Inter-Party Cooperation presidential flag-bearer, accusing him of sabotage. Addressing a press conference at Christ the King Hall in Kampala, shortly after picking nomination forms for next year’s presidential elections, Mao said the FDC party led by Besigye was trying to weaken DP by forging a secret alliance with some DP members. “FDC has been for long investing a lot of time and resources aimed at destabilising DP to weaken our party. It is unfortunate that Dr. Kizza Besigye could not take in the UPC advice that a united and strong DP is good for democracy in Uganda,” Mao said. Mao, whose party has been shaken by internal wrangles, is the 41st presidential aspirants to pick the forms. The NRM party picked the forms on Friday and FDC picked theirs on Monday. A DP faction, calling itself DP-Uganda, led by Samuel Lubega, picked nomination forms two weeks ago. The Uganda Peoples Congress is the only main political party that has not picked nomination forms. Thirty-eight smaller parties have picked the forms and a host of independents. After picking the forms, Mao disclosed that he had started a fundraising drive for sh9b for his 2011 presidential campaigns. He said he has already got a campaign truck equipped with a public address system. Mao revealed that DP has obtained a grant of 200m from Deepening Democracy Party (DP) for establishing DP party structures across the country. Asked for a comment, the FDC spokesperson, Wafula Oguttu, said: “I don’t known why he is accusing FDC and not IPC, FDC is only a subset of IPC, and we are just one of the five parties.” “FDC and IPC are trying to unit all forces against NRM and we are not going to stop anybody from joining us because of other considerations. “The people who are coming to join us are not forced, are not silly and they know what is right for their political future. The blame cannot be on us who are welcoming them. The blame can be on Mao himself on why he can’t hold his people together. Let him work on that. “What we want is a change and there are people who don’t want a change and we are working with those who want the change,” Oguttu explained. Presidential campaigns kick-off in November and the contest for next year’s presidential race will have incumbent Yoweri Museveni of NRM, two time runner-up Kiiza Besigye of FDC and the new entrant, Norbert Mao of DP and other candidates. The presidential nomination is slated for October 25 and 26. The aspirants will be nominated at the commission’s head offices in Kampala. The candidates must pay nomination fees of sh8m, collect 100 signatures from at least 75 districts and hand in three passport-size photos and certified copies of academic papers. Nominated aspirants will receive sh20m, a car and Police escorts. But where a candidate withdraws from the race within 30 days after nomination, such a candidate shall refund the money. The Electoral Commission, however, said it had planned for only 10 candidates and had already received 10 cars for them. The public relations officer, Charles Ochola, said the commission will adjust its budget depending on the final number of candidates. To be eligible for the presidential and parliamentary seats, a candidate must be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter and have at least an A’ level certificate or its equivalent. A person cannot stand for president if he is of unsound mind, holds an office that handles elections, or is a cultural leader, or is bankrupt. Anyone under a death sentence or a sentence of imprisonment exceeding nine months without an option of a fine cannot also stand. Candidates may be disqualified if they have within seven years immediately preceding the election, been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude or convicted over election crimes.

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