Mao noted general lack of briefing debaters; debaters failing to prepare adequately, embarrassing inaccuracy and lack of specifics on issues as the major challenges of the debate.
Democratic Party (DP) President Norbert Mao has described the recently concluded national presidential debate as one of low standard.
He said that apart from one of the candidates snubbing the event, the widely televised event was below expectations especially in performance of the participants.
Out of the eight candidates, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer Yoweri Museveni did not attend the debate as he was busy fulfilling his campaign schedule that required him to hold rallies in areas of Bushenyi and Mitooma districts.
Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer Kizza Besigye, People's Progressive Party's (PPP) Abedi Bwanike, former Makerere University Vice-chancellor Venansius Baryamureeba, Farmer's Party of Uganda (FPU) candidate Benon Biraaro, Elton Joseph Mabirizi and woman aspirant Maureen Walube Kyala attended the debate.
Addressing journalists at a news conference, Mao, without mentioning names said that, the debaters' major undoing was inadequate preparation and the overzealousness of moderators put the standard of the debate below the belt despite having been the first of its kind.
Mao noted general lack of briefing debaters, debaters failing to prepare adequately, embarrassing inaccuracy and lack of specifics on issues as the major challenges of the debate.
He however added that the willingness of candidates to take part in the debate was not only an inspiration to the nation but also a right step towards building democracy.
In the recent past, the Inter-Religious council of Uganda and The Elders Forum of Uganda the major organizers have stated that they welcome negative and positive comments from the general public on the debate as a means to improve the practice in future.
"Debating is healthy for a growing democracy that's why Museveni ought to have participated because it boosts the culture of dialogue. But also, the electorate need to interface with the candidates so that they make an informed choice while voting," Mao said.
The first debate took place on the 15th January 2016, while the second is expected between the 10th and 12th February, just days before the general election scheduled for 18th February.
The second is among others expected to tackle issues of foreign policy, rule of law, population growth and food security.