Most Ugandans want Museveni and Besigye to meet and discuss election reforms, a poll has shown
By Raymond Baguma
Majority of Ugandans want President Yoweri Museveni and his political rival, FDC leader Col. Kizza Besigye to hold talks on election reforms in order to move the country forward.
This emerged from the results of a public opinion poll carried out between March and last month (April), exactly one year after the 2011 presidential elections.
The study was done by a Uganda-based research agency, Research World International (RWI), which released its finding Tuesday during a function at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
"As a result of division fomented by politics, an overwhelming number of respondents (81%) said the opposition and NRM should enter into some form of talks to negotiate election reforms, echoing sentiments expressed by many people who said at the height of walk-to-work that the only way the country could move forward as one was for Besigye and Museveni to hold talks," the report said.
The support for the talks is highest in Central region (90%), followed by western region (83%); North (81%); Kampala (78%) and lowest in Eastern region with 74%.
Also, in the area of politics, the opinion poll showed that NRM party is still popular in all regions of the country with 69% of respondents saying that if elections were held today, they would vote for the NRM party.
However, a small majority of 55.6% of the respondents belonging to NRM do not think President Museveni should not contest again for presidency. On the other hand there was a split view on Besigye with 45% respondents saying he should stand again against 43% who were against him standing.
Asked to express their views on who should be the next leader of the NRM party in case Museveni opted to leave, the bigger number of respondents who are NRM supporters favoured the First Lady Janet Museveni (13.8%), followed by Prof. Gilbert Bukenya (13%), Rebecca Kadaga (11.5%) and Amama Mbabazi (8%).
But when all respondents, both NRM and non-NRM supporters were asked who they would favour to become president, Kadaga was in the lead with 13.2%, the First Lady 11.2% and Bukenya 8.9%.
The poll results revealed that majority of the respondents have confidence in the electoral process and believe they have freedom to vote for candidates of their choice and hold political discussions.
But the respondents called for reforms that aim to improve electoral processes through encouraging impartiality, transparency, integrity and accuracy.
The poll results highlighted the poor state of roads, poor education standards, high inflation and corruption as the main key concerns of Ugandans.
Over 64% of the respondents said the economy was performing poorly and a majority felt that they were worse off economically today than before the 2011 presidential elections.
In the study, the research agency, RWI interviewed 1,300 respondents who were registered voters from 65 districts in the urban and rural areas of north, central, east, west and Kampala.
The study was conducted to establish the public views on the post-elections state of the economy, the public's trust in the electoral process and views on the direction Uganda is taking.
Also, the study aimed to find out the public views on the likely successor to President Yoweri Museveni, understanding intentions of voters and what determines voter behaviour.
Most Ugandans want Museveni, Besigye to meet—poll