By Moses Mulondo
The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has dismissed allegations that they rigged the 1980 elections which had been reportedly won by the Democratic Party (DP).
The party was responding to journalists who asked whether UPC has moral authority to talk about free and fair elections when it allegedly massively rigged the 1980 elections.
“UPC never rigged the 1980 elections. The Commonwealth Observers said the elections were free and fair. That is why UPC was greatly defeated in Buganda,” said UPC spokesman Okello Lucima.
Okello explained it was the National Liberation Front and not the UPC that organized the 1980 elections.
The journalists raised the question after the UPC spokesman attacked the NRM for being dictatorial and presiding over ‘sham’ elections.
“Those allegations are false. They don’t stand in the face of facts. Those allegations are made for blackmail and diversionary purposes. Whether those elections were free or not, we are demanding for free and fair elections now,” said the UPC Vice President Joseph Bossa.
Both DP and NRM have always castigated the UPC for massively rigging the 1980 elections, which even forced the latter to go to the bush to fight the injustice.
On the proposal for boycotting the 2016 elections, UPC indicated that in the event that the NRM government refuses to accept the key reforms which would guarantee free and fair elections, they would consider boycotting.
“If some of our colleagues are taken by the attraction for standing for positions, that will be very shameful,” Okello argued.
DP and FDC have rejected the proposal by Dr. Kizza Besigye calling upon the opposition to boycott the 2016 general elections.
On the UPC preparations for the 2016 elections, the party leaders said they have embarked on a countrywide drive of registering new members to join UPC and to renew leadership in the grassroots structures.
“We have also started identifying candidates for fielding in the various elective positions in the 2016 general elections. We are preparing UPC to perform well in the next elections,” Bossa explained.
He urged all the opposition parties, civil society, eminent Ugandans, religious leaders and patriotic NRM leaders to support the campaign for constitutional reforms.
He also announced that all opposition parties and some civil society groups will take the campaign for free and fair elections to Kyambogo University on Thursday afternoon.