FDC presidential flag bearer Dr Besigye took oath of allegiance and Oath of President of the Republic of Uganda. This therefore means that the 36 FDC MPs are swearing in next week to go in parliament and fight for their space as the ruling party.
As an FDC party member, we believe that there has been a coup that has overthrown the constitution and established a military junta, our defiance campaign activities will therefore be engineered towards regaining our country, the people’s popular mandate and restoring the constitutional order.
FDC MPs therefore will be joining parliament well aware that this is the struggle we are in and they will be expected to advance this struggle in the House.
This ordinarily means that FDC MPs should be sitting on the right-hand side of the speaker which IS lawfully designated as the space for the ruling party.
But since there is a coup, the 36 FDC mps may find difficulty in occupying their respective sits on the ruling side and they may therefore tentatively seat on the left hand side of the speaker but they must leave the front bench empty because the front sits of the left hand side are designated for the opposition’s shadow cabinet.
It will be a matter of time that NRM will cross to the left to occupy those seats.
The implication of all this is that FDC will not be appointing the leadership of opposition in parliament because to us today the largest opposition party in the 10th parliament is NRM. Mr Ruhakana Rugunda is therefore expected to take over the office of the Leader of Opposition and go ahead to appoint the Shadow Cabinet.
It will be an insult to common sense for FDC party to swearing-in Dr Besigye as the legitimate president of Uganda and then quickly go ahead to appoint the leadership of the opposition in parliament such as The Leader of Opposition, The Chief Opposition Whip, The Deputy Opposition Whip, The Shadow Cabinet members and the Chairpersons of the Accountability Committees.
Of course this view may be facing serious criticisms especially from the Senior FDC MPs who may be considering themselves as best suited to occupy such opposition offices in parliament and they see this defiance campaign going to kill their personal opportunities.
I can see this debate getting hot especially after swearing of mps with strong statements coming from FDC MPs especially those that have openly been critical our civil disobedience and defiance campaigns.
A successful defiance campaign by FDC MPs on the floor will require that they must be very organized and with a recognized leadership or chain of command even in the absence of the Leader of opposition and his Shadow cabinet.
The best alternative therefore is to put in place a vibrant FDC CAUCUS where members can vote from amongst themselves, the leadership of that caucus.
With a robust FDC caucus in parliament, the party will be able to effectively advance our struggle in parliament until such a time when we shall fully restore order and the constitution after the overthrow of the junta.
FDC party cannot do both, it will either stand its ground that it won the elections and support Dr Besigye who is our legitimate president, or disown Dr Besigye whom they sworn-in, concede that they lost the presidential elections and appoint the leadership of the opposition in parliament.
I know this is a strong dilemma that the party is finding itself in.
No matter what decision is taken by FDC and its members in parliament, I urge the rest of us the forces of chance not to lose focus on the ball. The underlying point is that we had a presidential election in Uganda which FDC won but the coup leaders overthrew the constitution, thereby denying the legitimately elected President Dr Besigye to take over the office of the President.
We tried our best in proposing alternative measures of reaching at harmonious conclusion of this political question as a country which views have been ignored by the junta. We have taken a position that we will continue to mobilize all pro-democracy Ugandans to undertake measures to regain our country and reclaim our victory and this is where each of us should play a role.
This is not a Besigye struggle; it’s most importantly our struggle as young Ugandans whose future is being cast in doubt. Lets all be vigilante.
Byamugisha Moses, the author is an FDC party member