Uganda Presidential aspirants Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye have finally agreed to field a single candidate that will contest against President Yoweri Museveni in 2016 general elections.
“We wish to state, finally, that we are fully committed to unity and fielding of a single Presidential candidate in Uganda under these principles,” the candidates said in a statement yesterday.
Mbabazi and Besigye first disagreed on a joint candidate months back at the Bugolobi The Democratic Alliance [TDA] summit.
They then went to Nairobi Kenya where they met former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, but still disagreed on a joint candidate.
The aspirants issued a joint statement days back saying they had met in London UK to pursue the talks.
The talks were mediated former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.
When Besigye returned home, he told press that the opposition Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] had former a four-man committee to accomplish talks with Go Forward’s Amama.
In a new statement signed by both parties, Mbabazi and Besigye pledge themselves as Ugandans committed to democratic change and signatories to the statement of principles, concerned about the challenges that are affecting “our beloved country and people” to end divisions and discord in Uganda’s politics.
The statement says they are determined to build a society free of violence, fear, intimidation, hate, patronage, ‘ corruption and founded on justice, fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality.
“Aspiring to create a culture of pluralism and promote the politics of peace and tolerance: acknowledging that we have an obligation to strengthen the current framework for continued cooperation and coordination; desiring to enter into a true and deep dialogue with a view to promoting the prosperity of Uganda and all Ugandans,” the aspirants continue to pledge.
They also intend to unite in their efforts to confront common challenges as Ugandans and seek the support of regional and international partners.
“Aware of the need to establish a new electoral management system to ensure free and fair elections in Uganda; Conscious of the urgent need to mobilize resources to support the electoral process…”
Amama and Besigye say they recognise that the unity of Ugandans committed to democratic change requires sacrifice, compromise, coordination, and cooperation as has been championed by The Democratic Alliance.
“Following discussions between us under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation regarding the political process in Uganda, particularly the coming elections, we commit ourselves to go into the elections, as agreed, as a single coalition with one presidential, candidate and we shall form an election protection mechanism.”
In the government of national unity and reform, the two agreed to have a Prime minister with the authority to perform executive functions as shall be provided for by the parties to this agreement.
The Prime minister shall be formally appointed by the president following the elections and shall not be removed by the president.
“Each party to this agreement shall nominate one person to be appointed as one of two deputy prime ministers.”
The cabinet shall consist of the President, the vice president, the Prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers, and other ministers.
The President shall appoint members of the cabinet whom the president will have agreed upon with the prime minister based on the principle of portfolio balance as shall be specified by the parties to the agreement.
‘The removal of any minister of the coalition shall be subject to consultation and concurrence in writing by the parties to this agreement.
Following the election, the government of national unity and reform shall within the first year carry out democratic reforms and provide for constitutional governance and free and fair elections within a period not to exceed two years.
“In the interest of the unity of Ugandans committed to democratic change, we shall submit these principles to our respective political structures for discussion and ratification; and the parties will agree on the persons and institutions that will serve as guarantors of this agreement under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation.”
It concludes: “We wish to state, finally, that we are fully committed to unity and fielding of a single Presidential candidate in Uganda under these principles.”