By Reuben Baingana
The Democratic Party in Uganda was formed in 1954 by mainly Catholic Baganda, but was soon to become a national party covering the entire country and was able to win the 1961 internal self-government elections led by Benedicto Kiwanuka who became the Chief Minister.
This is the closest that the DP has been to State power, having been defeated by UPC in the disputed 1980 elections that saw DP forming the opposition in parliament.
DP President Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere bounced back in 1996 elections as a coalition candidate under inter party forces coalition where he was defeated by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Personally, I admire the resilience of the DP. However, the party was not to be the same after the 2012 Mbale delegates conference where Norbert Mao emerged the winner.
The Party soon developed into factions led by prominent Buganda politicians who probably wanted to maintain a status quo that a DP President General must be a Muganda and staunch Catholic.
T.J Solida crew led by Kampala Mayor Lukwago, Suubi lya Buganda pressure group led by Medard Segoona and Betty Nambooze, Liberal Democratic Party led by Nasser Sebagala all emerged as pressure groups from the main stream Democratic Party.
We hope that the unification of these pressure groups and rejoining of Social Democratic Party headed by former Makindye West Member of Parliament, Mike Mabike and People’s Development Party of a three time presidential candidate, Abed Bwanika will strengthen this former national party that has since retreated back to its tribal and religious enclaves.
With the emergence on the political scene of the musician turned politician, Kyadondo East MP Kyagulanyi and his People Power movement that seeks to tap into the urban youths, and a new party led by the former Forum for Democratic Change president, Major General Mugisha Muntu, the political landscape has already taken shape as we head to the 2021 polls. Will the opposition this time manage to support one single presidential candidate? Let’s watch the political space!