The Democratic Alliance [TDA] has released a statement explaining that they failed to reach a consensus and could not pick a joint candidate to represent them in 2016 general elections.
“The membership of the Alliance will take different paths on the issue of Presidential Candidate,” the coalition said in a joint statement read by its spokesperson, Hon Wafula Oguttu.
“We have not arrived at a consensus. We have not been able to build consensus on either Besigye or Mbabazi.”
According to officials, Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress, Uganda Federal Alliance, People’s Progressive Party and Go Forward endorsed Mbabazi, Forum for Democratic Change and Conservative Party endorsed Besigye, Prof Gilbert Bukenya’s Party for National Unity and Jeema refused to endorse.
By the end of the day, TDA had no joint candidate after FDC and CP reminded Mbabazi of his corruption scandals saying he could represent them.
TDA chairman, Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa, also an FDC member said the opposition party “feels Mbabazi hasn’t been part of the Opposition and doesn’t share our principles. But we will continue negotiations”.
He added: “We as FDC wanted someone who represents rule of law, corruption free et al but Mbabazi did not embody those.”
The joint statement further said: “We have appreciated that we disagreed on many things. We decided to go separate ways but our main objective remains dislodging President Yoweri Museveni.”
FDC will go as FDC under Besigye and Mbabazi as an Independent under Go Forward Pro Change, TDA resolved.
“We have agreed to disagree,” former UPC president, Amb Olara Otunnu, told press.
“You have been waiting for so long for a Joint Candidate from the TDA. We had hoped we would offer you one candidate,” Mbabazi’s sister in-law, Hope Mwesigye, noted regretfully.
“We had hoped that we would have one candidate, that didn’t happen. The beauty is we remain committed in the struggle,” FDC president Mugisha Muntu said.
He added: “We have been working together for the last 3 years. What has held us together was the desire to remove the dictatorship.”
After failing to announce a flag bearer, members expressed dissatisfaction and called for TDA to be disbanded once and for all.
The alliance, in a manner of speaking, has collapsed.
Opposition party leaders and the civil society agreed in principle to form a ‘Democratic Alliance’ to field a joint candidate ahead of 2016 polls in June 2015.
The leaders, who met from June 4 to 7 under the auspices of the free and fair elections campaign, agreed to front a joint candidate in a closed door meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Present at the meeting was FDC president, Gen Mugisha Muntu, his predecessor Dr Kizza Besigye, Ex- Vice president Prof Gilbert Bukenya, Former DP president Paul Kawanga Semogerere, UFA leader Beti Kamya, CP leader Ken Lukyamuzi, Baswale Kezaala, UPC president Mr Dr Olara Otunnu and JEEMA president Mr Asuman Basalirwa, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mr Wafula Oguttu, Bishop Zac Niringiye, among others.
In the meeting, the opposition leaders observed that political parties, organisations and individual have independently and on their own not been able to cause the positive change desired to create conditions for equal opportunity and shared responsibility for every Ugandan.
In order to achieve its goals and objectives, The Democratic Alliance has proposed to reduce the number of ministerial positions to 21 and formation of an transitional government, drafting an operating document for the Democratic Alliance government and to get parliamentary approval in the first three months of the transitional government as well as adopting electoral reforms in the first months of the rule to allow for ‘free & fair’ elections.
It was also proposed that the president of the Democratic Alliance will rule for a single five-year term.
In only two and a half months, the alliance has crumbled and fallen into oblivion.