EC asks FDC to resolve differences before 2026 polls

EC asks FDC to resolve differences before 2026 polls
Clockwise Besigye, Ssemujju, Amuriat and Mafabi fighting over FDC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has called upon the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to address its internal divisions before the 2024 general election.

It emphasises that the commission only recognises the Najjanankumbi faction at the moment.

In an interview with the Nile Post, Justice Simon Byabakama, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, stated that while there can be multiple political parties in the country, there cannot be a political party within a party, referring to the FDC factions.

"The law doesn't allow for such divisions. At the moment, the law recognizes Najjanankumbi. When FDC was registered, they presented their constitution, the list of their office bearers, their party color, and other necessary information as required by the law," he said.

However, Byabakama acknowledged the ongoing situation within the FDC and the conflicts arising among its members, understanding that disagreements are a normal part of any organization. He advised the party to resolve these issues in the appropriate forum.

"The proper forum in this case is the court of law, so that the court can decide which faction is legitimate. For now, we recognize what has been presented to us, unless the court makes a pronouncement on the matter. I hope they can address their issues so that everything can proceed smoothly," he added.

As the 2026 general elections approach, several opposition political parties, including the FDC, Democratic Party (DP), and Uganda People's Congress (UPC), find themselves entangled in internal conflicts.

Internal divisions have emerged within these key opposition parties following the 2021 elections, leading to significant splits.

The FDC, for example, is grappling with two factions, one based in Katonga and the other in Najjanankumbi. Byabakama advised these parties to resolve their internal issues before the 2026 general elections.

Despite these internal conflicts, some opposition political parties remain hopeful about reconciling their differences and presenting a strong challenge against the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in 2026.

Last year, the FDC became embroiled in a bitter internal dispute that threatens to deepen existing fault lines and further divide both the party and the nation.

The controversy has shifted from accusations of party leaders receiving funds from suspicious sources to a more concerning tribal and regional power struggle.

This power struggle has generated tension between the two prominent factions, with each region aligning itself with one of the factions as they vie for control.

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