By Ian Katusiime
Below is a statement from Wafula Oguttu, Leader of Opposition in Parliament on the disagreement between FDC and Amama Mbabazi’s Go Forward team
Up dates on FDC/Go-Forward Talks
1. For the past two days we, (FDC and Go-Forward and group) have been holed up in a negotiation meeting in yet another attempt to try and agree on a Joint Presidential Candidate (JPC) for the forthcoming general elections.
2. Today many anxious FDC members and leaders kept on calling me and other members of our team to find out how we had gone. We had only one answer for them, “Please wait, we shall get back to you later”,The following is an update of how far we were able to go: I hope our members find it useful.
3. The otherwise very cordial meeting was adjourned about a few hours ago by co- chair Hon. Medard Sseggona sine die. The other co-chair was Augustine Ruzindana. Medard was proposed by GoForward while Augustine was proposed by FDC. The two teams were led by Dr Olara Otunnu and Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu respectively.
4. The meeting, which was a follow up of similar meetings held earlier in Nairobi and UK, had to be adjourned because we had once again reached an impasse. Both sides could not agree on a JPC.
5.Because of time element , given that Presidential nominations are due on November 3and 4, we agreed to move on and have the two candidates nominated while we continue the contacts and exploring possibilities of future cooperation most especially on vote protection and resisting partisan and unconstitutional police actions during the on-going electoral process.
6. When the negotiations hit a stalemate, FDC proposed alternative B as a fallback position; of both candidates testing the ground after nomination and then two sides meeting again to review the situation. The Go Forward team said they would to go back and consult on the proposal.
7. Both sides also agreed to focus efforts on our common political opponent, the rogue regime, and to stop attacking each other through unhelpful media wars.
8. Pushing for our candidate as a better option, FDC President Maj.Gen. Muntu argued that Dr Kizza Besigye who had been elected by the Party National Delegates Conference, had for 15 years demonstrated his consistence in the struggle for democracy, had a more popular appeal, has millions of voters and supporters behind him despite being rigged out of victory, has strong party structures behind him and was unlikely to suffer any more surprising state -trumped –up court cases.
9. Muntu argued that Besigye was therefore a better bet for the JPC and while he offered GoForward and the Parties backing candidate JP Amama Mbabazi the Executive Premiership plus 60% of cabinet positions. They said they had come to the negotiations with the mandate to secure the Presidency not anything else.