Thursday, August 07, 2008
Uganda parties sign a coalition protocol
Uganda opposition parties have signed a historical protocol as a yard stick to win the coming elections.

The signing party leaders include Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Conservative Party (CP) and Justice Forum (JEEMA). The Democratic Party (DP) was absent in the signing because of party consultations, however one of its member of parliament Mutumba Sebuliba of Kawempe South was present.

The current party co-operation chairperson, Maria Obote of UPC says the unity is a power house to win the coming general elections in 2011. She expects that will correct what she refers to as political inconsistency and intolerance.

Co-operating parties will work under an umbrella of Uganda Inter-Party Co-operation (UIPC) but will not lose their identities. The chairmanship will be in rotation after every three months.

So far, the coalition hasn’t agreed on common electoral platform which they believe can be done through agreement. FDC leader, Retired Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye says, “We will support anyone the co-operation yields.”

Inter-party co-operations are not new in Uganda. Shortly before independence parties came together to assume power from the British colonialists; DP and UPC coalition in 1980 election did not last after an uprise; In the 1996 election parties united under the Inter-Party Forces Co-operation (IPFC) but did not trounce Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who had 76% of votes; and 2001 election DP, CP and FDC came together but still lost. The 2006 election had no coalition and Museveni won with 59%.

Though the arms of this parties’ co-operation are wide, some smaller parties like Reform Agenda, The Free Movement, FeParty, National Democratic Forum and many others will not qualify to join for they haven’t taken part in any general elections, by election or local government election and have no functional secretariat.

The signing that took place at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala was concluded with participants testing how flexible their bones were by dancing to a South African song which they didn’t comprehend but said it was a liberation song.

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