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'Uganda not ready for party coalitions'

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th November 2008 03:00 AM

POLITICAL parties have been urged to set up national structures if they are to succeed in the 2011 elections.

By Jude Kafuuma

POLITICAL parties have been urged to set up national structures if they are to succeed in the 2011 elections.

Dr. Yassim Olum and Simba Kayunga from the Department of Political Science, Makerere University, agreed with the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) that it was not the right time for the formation of political party coalitions.

The experts were presenting papers on the political situation in Uganda during the UYD workshop at Pope Paul Hotel in Rubaga recently.

“If a coalition happens, the danger is for one party to become dominant and swallow up others,” Kayunga said.

The best form of coalition, he added, should come after all parties have tested their national strength and popularity.

Kayunga challenged parties like the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to replace their presidential candidates if they are to compete favourably in the 2011 polls.

“The party’s original terms were to struggle for term limits. Fronting Besigye for the third time will mean FDC has failed to live to its objectives,” Kayunga explained.
According to Kayunga, it is risky to have a party coalition before knowing the flow of votes.

Presenting a paper on the relevance and preconditions for political party coalitions, Kayunga urged the UYD to define their status and take on national leadership.

“For change to take place there is need to create radical groups of dynamic young people who will enable political change to take off,” he said.

The workshop was among a series of seminars organised by the Foundation for African Development (FAD) in conjunction with Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation for youth leaders of different political parties.

“As we look forward to the 2011 national and presidential elections, we mobilise academicians and politicians to talk to the youth on key political issues especially in line with multi-party governance,” said Jude Mbabali, the FAD administrator.

The UYD, an autonomous non-official wing of the DP, was divided over leadership posts, and the misappropriation of funds.
The funds were donated by the UK-based Labour Party (LP) to the DP together with a printing press and a public address system.

There was also fear that the Government was using some of the UYD members to spy on the DP, which resulted into the creation of factions within the young democrats.

John Baptist Kakooza, an advocate and senior member of DP, was tasked to listen to the UYD conflicts and find solutions.

'Uganda not ready for party coalitions'

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