Besigye quits presidential debate after Museveni exit  


Besigye addressing press in Moroto

FDC presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, has said he will not be part of the January 15, 2015 presidential TV debate if President Yoweri Museveni doesn’t attend it.

Yesterday, NRM campaign taskforce spokesperson, Mike Sebalu, said Museveni would not take part in the debate as he has rallies to attend.

Besigye told press in Moroto town Sunday afternoon that if the incumbent who would be key in the debate is not participating, then there is no purpose to the debate.

Besigye insisted the president is deliberately avoiding the debate for fear of being questioned of his 30-year term failures.

“This is not the first time that there has been an attempt to organise a presidential debate in Uganda,” Besigye told press.

He said similar attempts have been made in the previous elections.

“In each of those attempts, it was the failure of Museveni to accept to have a debate that led to the failure to have the debate.”

“If we can’t have an utopian debate without interrogating the 30 year incumbency of the Museveni regime…,” Besigye mused, adding, “the contestation is between the dictatorship and the forces or organisations challenging the dictatorship.”

He said if the “dictatorship” is not there, then the result is a one-sided show.

“So my view is very clear, that if Museveni declines to have a debate, then we can’t have a debate alone,” he concluded.

Winnie speaks

Oxfam International director also wife to Besigye, Winnie Byanyima, says the debate should continue even without Museveni or her husband.

“The show should go on,” Winnie said in a tweet.

“Absent candidates should have empty seats and nameplates in the studio.”

She had earlier suggested two panels to give time to cover issues.

“Panel 2: KB, JPAM and empty seat 4 Museveni. Panel 1: all other candidates.”

She said, for example, former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, should be given a chance to tell the country what he will do in five years that he failed to do while in government, 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, BBC journalist, Alan Kasujja, who will moderate the debate alongside KTN news anchor, Nancy Kacungira, says he has already packed his bags and is good to go.

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