Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Inter party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit scheduled for next week will go on without the main opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
FDC officially communicated its withdrawal during the IPOD council meeting held at Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Ntinda on Friday evening. The IPOD council is composed of Secretary Generals of all political parties represented in parliament.
The council meeting was attended by National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s Kasule Lumumba, Democratic Party (DP)’s Gerald Siranda, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC)’s Fred Ebil, and JEEMA’s Kateregga Muhamad while FDC was represented by the Vice President for Eastern Uganda, Proscovia Salaamu Musumba.
The summit is the meeting of presidents of political parties represented in parliament. It will be the first summit since IPOD was created in 2009.
DP which on Wednesday said they had withdrawn from the summit flip-flopped back. Gerald Siranda, the party’s Secretary General told Uganda Radio Network after the council meeting that the summit will take place as scheduled on Wednesday 12 at Speke Resort Munyonyo. He said they agreed all parties should continue to prepare for the meeting.
Siranda said FDC pointed out many reasons for its withdrawal such as the recent ban, stopping the party from holding rallies in western Uganda which are valid. He said they appealed to the ruling party, NRM to behave in a way that will let the summit to take place.
He said DP will come to the summit with its reservations such as the recent incident in Busia LCV by-election where its candidate was nullified from the contest.
Siranda argued that parties will come with equal command, without being domineered by the ruling party, NRM. Each party is supposed to come with a delegation of 50 members. He said the summit is an opportunity to tell Museveni face to face that things are going wrong.
There are more meetings, Siranda said to convince FDC to return to the table. Another council meeting will be convened on Sunday evening.
The summit discussion will be centered on four thematic areas; strengthening political parties to enhance their relevancy and effectiveness, consolidation of constitutional and electoral reforms, promotion of inclusiveness in national politics especially in relation to the role of youth and women in politics and strengthening democratic governance, human rights and observance of rule of law.