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FDC presidential flag bearer puzzle: Party’s NEC set to meet to discuss way forward

D Kizza Besigye, Erias Lukwago and Patrick Oboi Amuriat.

Main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) NEC will convene to discuss ways of holding its nomination exercise for 2021 presidential flag bearer as party now blames the Electoral Commission (EC) for delay in internal electoral processes.

The FDC has blamed the national EC for delaying to release guidelines, making it impossible to pick the 2021 presidential flag bearer on time.

The party had earlier announced July 30 and 31 as dates for picking of expression of interest forms for those who want to carry the FDC flag to challenge Museveni.

But July 31 being Idi Adha Day, the party’s EC later revised this date to August 03 and 04.

While many expected the exercise to kick off on August 03, the party’s head of elections Boniface Toterebuka Bamwenda announced postponement of the exercise – once again.

Unlike in previous deferrals, the FDC EC didn’t set any date. The party says it is stuck since the national EC has failed to issue guidelines on the holding of party primaries.

“Fellow citizens, I want to announce the postponement of the presidential flag bearer exercise,” Bamwenda announced at a press conference held at Najjanankumbi in Kampala.

“Without clear guidelines from the Electoral Commission, it has been found necessary to postpone the presidential flag bearer road map.”

Bamwenda also reminded the Justice Simon Byabakama-led EC “to effectively respond to pertinent issues arising out of electoral affairs.”

But he revealed the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) would convene on August 07 to discuss the way forward on August 07.

The party is reportedly still trying to convince opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye to run for president for the fifth time in a row.

Read: Besigye speaks out on running for president in 2021


According to Bamwenda, the FDC want the EC to issue clear guidelines on how the party should hold its internal democratic processes for identifying flag bearers, such as the national delegates conference.

Although rallies remain banned, FDC asked the EC to be allowed to hold rallies and town hall meetings.

At the weekend, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) held its delegates conference and confirmed Jimmy Akena as its party president.

But FDC complains that its earlier meetings, like ones held by Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, were suppressed.

FDC is also opposed to regulations recently passed by parliament, requiring parties to extend terms of office for its current leaders as a way of avoiding meetings that could attract gatherings.

Public gatherings, including political meetings, remain banned to prevent  the spread of Covid19.

But ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) aspirants, including health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and justice minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, have been pictured holding meetings and processions.

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