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Olara Otunnu undecided over IPC coalition

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th August 2010 03:00 AM

THE Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) is still consulting members on the proposal to field a joint presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, party president Olara Otunnu said yesterday.

THE Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) is still consulting members on the proposal to field a joint presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, party president Olara Otunnu said yesterday.

By Jeff Lule
and Barbara Among


THE Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) is still consulting members on the proposal to field a joint presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, party president Olara Otunnu said yesterday.

The Inter-Party Cooperation, a loose alliance of five opposition parties, is trying to agree on a joint candidate.

Otunnu, however, caused panic last week when he failed to turn up at Kololo Airstrip for the nomination of the candidates.

After a crisis meeting with the IPC on Monday, Otunnu said the UPC elders would make the final decision.

“Why was this coalition formed? Is the coalition taking the right path? What have we achieved?” Otunnu asked.
UPC accuses the IPC leadership of dishonesty. It says the group’s rotational chairman, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change, is manipulating the coalition in favour of his party.

The emergency meeting, chaired by Besigye, was attended by Ken Lukyamuzi (CP), Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA) and a representative of the Social Democratic Party.

After the meeting at the IPC headquarters on Katonga Road in Nakasero, Besigye said the meeting had addressed UPC concerns conclusively, but Otunnu said otherwise.

On the allegation of dominating the IPC, Besigye said it was not true and instead blamed inadequate communication. He said UPC needed to deal with its obligations.

The meeting agreed to hold a conference on August 31, to allow members who wish to participate to be nominated. IPC will also hold two public hearings on Friday and Saturday in Kampala and Jinja.

On his part, Otunnu said: “UPC is systematic in dealing with critical issues. UPC will fulfill its responsibilities, while sticking to its principles.”
He said the party first needed to conclude the ongoing process of setting up structures nationwide as it prepares for primaries in September.

Meanwhile, DP yesterday appealed to the opposition to instead agree joint parliamentary and local government candidates.

It said each party should, however, field its own presidential candidate as the best way to deny Museveni an outright 50% win. The parties should only field a joint candidate for a re-run, DP boss Norbert Mao said.
Political analyst Prof. Golooba Muteebi thinks otherwise.

“Going alone, will fracture the opposition,” he argued.
“Unity is what they need.”

Olara Otunnu undecided over IPC coalition

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