By Moses Mulondo & Leticia Kahubire
THE Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has ruled out the possibility of stepping down for another DP leader to be the party’s flag bearer in the 2016 elections.
Mao made the remarks while addressing journalists at City House in Kampala arguing he is a popular politician.
In the 2011 presidential election, won by NRM’s President Yoweri Museveni by 68.38% followed by FDC’s Dr. Kizza Besigye who got 26.01%, DP’s Norbert Mao followed got 1.86%.
Asked whether he considers stepping down for another person following his dismal performance in 2011, Mao said, “Those who say I am unpopular are misguided. Majority of the DP members support me. My aim is to be the president of Uganda.”
Mao said if he stepped down, he would be confirming the perception that DP is a Buganda party.
He defended his dismal performance in 2016 attributing to rigging and the divisions within the DP.
“Out of the 7 districts won by the opposition, I won three districts and Besigye won four districts. I have a track record of good performance. Those who dismiss me are better off supporting me,” Mao argued.
Asked whether a candidate like the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who comes from Buganda where all the 15 DP MPs come from would be a better presidential candidate for DP, Mao said, “The Lord Mayor is not a member of DP. He stood as an independent. Lukwago has had an opportunity to serve. Look at his performance.”
Mao, however, clarified that although he is not stepping down, there would be open competition for all DP elective positions including his position of party president.
He said there are also ongoing reconciliation talks between his executive and DP stalwarts who boycotted the Mbale delegates’ conference which elected him.
“We are undergoing a moment of repentance and forgiveness because our activities like fundraisings will be successful if people see us united,” Mao explained.
There is a section of DP leaders who want to front Erias Lukwago to replace Mao as the DP president.