A leading official of the Democratic Party has revealed that the recently signed cooperation deal agreement between Norbert Mao and President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni will see the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) support DP to replace Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s National Unity Platform (NUP) as the main opposition party by 2026.
On July 20, Mao of the DP and Museveni of the NRM signed a cooperation agreement at State House Entebbe. Following the surprise deal, Museveni announced the appointment of Mao, a former presidential candidate, as Uganda’s new Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, a position that had remained vacant since June 2021 when a new cabinet list was released.
Now, in what seems as feeding into President Museveni’s broader plan to cripple his political opposition through the new cooperation agreement, a DP official has explained what the party hopes to achieve through the deal, including the expectation to turn into the main opposition political organization.
According to DP spokesperson Opio Okoler Lo Amanu, in the year 2021, during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) retreat attended by Members of Parliament sponsored by the political organization, resolutions for a plan that will be implemented over the course of five years, and ending in 2026, were passed.
The spokesperson explained that the first and cardinal goal was to ensure that DP devises all legal means possible to get state power and replace Museveni’s government. In the likely scenario that DP fails to get power, Okoler further noted, it was resolved that the party should at least be able to “substantively” share power with Museveni and his government.
“We also resolved that as the Democratic Party, if power sharing fails then we should at least make strategies to become the leader of opposition by 2026 because you cannot get to number one if you are not number two,” Okoler said during NTV Uganda’s Ebigambo Tebita show hosted by Ali Mivule.
He went on to say that Wednesday’s ‘unprecedented’ signing of the cooperation agreement between Mao and Museveni (as well as DP and NRM) was “the beginning of the process to be followed in achieving our resolutions.”
Bobi Wine’s NUP is currently the main opposition political party, having eclipsed Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in the 2021 parliamentary elections. It should be remembered that some of NUP’s MPs previously belonged to the DP, crossing only months to the polls following the failure of the DP Bloc alliance plot.
It remains to be seen how DP will capitalize on the Museveni-Mao cooperation agreement to take power or substantively share power. It is also not clear how the cooperation deal will be used to help DP dislodge NUP as the main opposition party.
Meanwhile, Okoler told DP leaders opposed to the Mao-Museveni cooperation agreement to make their complaints in the right forum.
“DP members and Ugandans should understand that DP has no demigods. No one in the party is stronger than the party organs. If anyone disagrees with Mao’s decision they should go through the National Executive Committee,” noted the party spokesperson.
Responding to calls on him to resign his job as DP president general as well as claims by some who purported to have fired him for working with Museveni, Norbert Mao swore that he is not going anywhere and will remain top DP boss and serve as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister at the same time. (Read Story Here).
Meanwhile, two powerful men believed to have brokered the Museveni-Mao deal have been revealed. (Read Report Here).