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Opposition says ready to talk with govtPublish Date: Dec 12, 2013
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By Umaru Kashaka

The five major political parties under the framework of the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) have formulated agenda for talks with President Yoweri Museveni about the 2016 elections.

This has been disclosed by the Democratic Party president Nobert Mao.

Norbert Mao

The parties represented in Parliament, he said, during a recent meeting in Kampala agreed to talk with the president on having free and fair elections come 2016, having a non-partisan armed forces and ensuring there is respect for the rule of law in the country.

Mao, who was non-committal on the time frame of convening the meeting, noted that the opposition now believes dialogue is the only way forward if they are to see any meaningful change in the country.

“We are going to meet the president for the sake of peace and talk as Ugandans. We want also to remind him of his government obligations to Ugandans,” Mao said.

He said the parties that have agreed to meet the president are Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Conservative Party (CP), Democratic Party (DP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), and Uganda People's Congress (UPC).

Mao took a swipe at a group of opposition members for opting to create violence and disharmony, saying Ugandans are now tired of seeing chaos engulfing their country.

“I sometimes hear opposition members making errant statements that they can’t talk to Museveni; unless they want chaos. We should emulate our brothers in Kenya and also learn from Mandela,” he said.

In his reply to the People’s Progressive Party leader, Bidandi Ssali, who asked him to call a dialogue to discuss several issues affecting the country in 2011, President Museveni said he was ready for dialogue with the opposition.

He, however, was quick to point out that his past efforts to dialogue with the opposition were frustrated by certain characters within the opposition circles.

“An olive branch to the opposition was extended in 2006. I convened the meeting of the inter-party forum. Some boycotted the meeting,” read Museveni’s letter in part.

“Since the recent elections, I have been ready to convene the inter-party forum. It’s your side that does not want that meeting to take place. We are ready any time,” he said.

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