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Why the opposition pact cannot succeed

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th August 2008 03:00 AM

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the Uganda People’s Congress, the Conservative Party and JEEMA recently signed a pact that they argued was a strategy to capture power in 2011. But is the pact formidable given the current events in the various political parties?

Chris Kiwawulo

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the Uganda People’s Congress, the Conservative Party and JEEMA recently signed a pact that they argued was a strategy to capture power in 2011. But is the pact formidable given the current events in the various political parties?

Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, the president of the People’s Progressive Party, says the opposition pact is unnecessary.

There are internal wrangles within these parties over leadership positions, particularly in the FDC. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party is also a victim of intra-party wrangles.

Hence the best option for opposition parties is consolidation rather than forming pacts ahead of the 2011 general elections.

Disagreements in politics are good for democratic development as long as they are not violent.

Leaders of the conflict-ridden political parties are the same players in the alliance. But whose decisions will be given priority? Party interests are likely to override those of the alliance.

Leaders will want their party’s interests promoted at the expense of other parties. This would be a likely cause for the break-up of the pact, as the 2011 polls draw nearer.

In case the coalition agrees on one presidential candidate and they successfully defeat the NRM candidate in 2011, there would be a power struggle in the aftermath.

Democratic Party president John Ssebaana Kizito says they can only cooperate with other parties but will not sign the pact. Ssebaana believes DP can mobilise on its own and win the 2011 presidential elections single-handedly.

Under multi-party politics, parties hold primaries before fronting a candidate for presidency. With the coalition, this process would be rendered useless if the member parties support one candidate. In the end, the party whose candidate will be supported stands to gain more strength at the expense of others.

The pact is, therefore, likely to plunge the member parties into confusion. As a result, the bickering coalition will only strengthen the NRM.

ckiwawulo@newvision.co.ug
The writer is a journalist

Why the opposition pact cannot succeed

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