The opposition Forum for Democratic Change recently announced preparations for the election of a flag bearer of the party in the upcoming 2021 presidential elections.
The announcement was made on January 20 by the party’s deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo, who said that when their consultation meetings are done in January, they will advertise the post for “members to apply’.
On February 3, the party set the date for their national delegates conference for May/June 2020.
“The party’s Electoral Commission will after thorough preparations announce the date and venue for nominations. In accordance with the Party Constitution, the FDC Electoral Commission will also publish the qualifications for one to qualify to a candidate.”
The FDC is internally organizing and at a stage, they feel is right, will provide this country with their choice of man/woman to steer them through another presidential election. But who?
The Nile Post in our Counting series takes a look at the possibilities the FDC have in their squad:
On January 14th, 2020, Dr. Kizza Besigye’s former Aide Moses Byamugisha, declared his presidential ambitions.
However, Byamugisha is one person that has time and again been ‘rejected’ within the party, maybe he always chooses the wrong time?
Byamugisha in 2017 run for the party presidency and lost. Before that, he could not beat Dr. Besigye who has a tight grip on the party.
With Byamugisha coming forward to put his intentions on the table, it is very clear that at least when FDC has one possible presidential flag bearer.
The question is: Is Byamugisha’s bid welcome in FDC? Well, we wait.
The current FDC presidential candidate has ambitions we suppose and a try at the top seat is not far from any.
He has at one time intimated he wants to be the president of this country and well what a time to quantify his ambitions.
Amuriat, however, has been criticized for being a puppet of Dr. Besigye and using the party to benefit the former president.
In his time, the party has split in groups with one quietly running towards Mugisha Muntu’s Alliance for National Transformation while another side has evolved into a political wing, dubbed the People’s Government.
Amuriat is another of Besigye’s boys and he is easy to see through that he would not go against Besigye in any case.
However, Amuriat looks like one of the possible candidates should he gather his guts. The questions is: How far can he fly out of Besigye’s shadow?
An opinion by Amuriat was published in PML daily with the title: POA: Dr. Besigye will be our 2021 presidential candidate, no negotiations about that!
Nile Post can not confirm its authenticity but if the opinion is to go by, it is the summation of Amuriat’s ambitions.
Mafabi remains one of FDC’s loyal cadres and until Besigye’s exit, he was seen as one of the people who would take on the mantle.
The legislator was however left shocked when he failed to beat Mugisha Muntu in presidential polls in 2017 by 33 votes. His confidence could have come down crumbling for he thought he was the next strongest thing after Kizza Besigye within the party.
But take or leave it, Mafabi was by then the Leader of Opposition in parliament, had made a name as the head of PAC.
Indeed, it is said that Mafabi was silently backed by Besigye to beat Muntu but his bid fell on its knees in a very shocking night at Namboole stadium.
With Muntu out? Mafabi can return and win the polls over and above anyone else within the party.
However, Mafabi failed in his initial bid at the presidency for a number of reasons and most importantly was: lack of articulacy, but that can be resolved anyway, so the big question remains: Is he interested and if he is, can he get FDC past Sironko?
Proscovia Salamu Musumba
One of the best heads FDC has ever had, former legislator and Kamuli LC5 chairperson Proscovia Salamu Musumba is a possible candidate for the party.
As a woman, she could bring a new wave to the party that has not been led by a woman yet. The issue is that Salaamu must have lost ground by now and from recent party communications, she took in a slow poison that is consuming her hair.
The campaigns are tough and it may not be possible for her. Nonetheless, in her good days, Musumba would be a good pick.
Mr. Affable, FDC’s most liked character after Besigye, but he has shown regressive ambitions over time, always seeking to remain the party spokesperson no matter his growing popularity.
In the end, Ssemujju is seen (if he is not) as one of the people in FDC who lack bigger ambitions, all they need is to stay where they are and do what they enjoy doing. So yes, Ssemujju would be a good pick, but No, he wants what he wants.
FDC is at a time when you cannot point out one specific person to lead the party in the 2021 elections against an arguably more powerful Bobi Wine and incumbent Museveni.
Mugisha Muntu’s exit has deprived them of a chance to level up matters in that space and also deprived them of key members that would have stood up to the opportunity.
It is now unclear who of the MPs in parliament stands loyal to FDC. It is even hard to think of who in the party can give them the same or more vibrancy they have enjoyed with Kizza Besigye during presidential elections before.
Indeed, the party sounds less as compared to Besigye’s people’s movement, this all brings us back to one candidate more suitable to give FDC a lifeline…BESIGYE.
Dr. Kizza Besigye
Take it or leave it, like it or not, FDC can not outlive Besigye and there will not be any shock when the party convinces him to take the ticket once more.
Sources within the party and close to Besigye have claimed the four-time presidential contender is not willing to stand again and he will NOT be participating as a candidate in the 2021 elections.
The multimillion question is: Is it the first time we are hearing this?
The last option on the table for FDC is a coalition with the hot on flames People Power movement. But let us burst your bubble, the party ruled out such a coalition as early as January.
“We cannot enter into any coalition with People Power because it is not a party. We can only do so if we are at the same level of support but we are not,” Nandala Mafabi.
Alternatively, FDC can go Lukwago’s way.
“Uganda is ready for a transition from Museveni and Ugandans will, come 2021, coalesce around a leader, one person they think poses a formidable challenge to Museveni and that will not be driven by parties. Whoever emerges as a trusted flag bearer of the forces of change is the one people will rally around…”Lukwago.
But the party is too big and proud to play into the hands of People Power, so it will most likely field a candidate for the sake of pride and remaining relevant.
This leaves us with the biggest question of the day: WHO?