Divided Democratic Party Seeks Reconciliation: Talks Start, But Challenges Remain

Divided Democratic Party Seeks Reconciliation: Talks Start, But Challenges Remain
Norbert Mao (Photo by Francis Isaano)

Uganda's Democratic Party (DP), grappling with internal divisions for two years, has taken a first step towards reconciliation. Party leader Norbert Mao and eight out of nine DP Members of Parliament met recently, raising hopes for a united front.

Despite public spats, Mao and the MPs convened for "peace-building" discussions. Different interpretations emerged:

Some saw it as a "start of talks" with disgruntled members, others viewed it as a deeper dive into a previously signed cooperation agreement, and yet another perspective framed it as simply understanding the agreement's implications.

Despite divergent views, a common desire to move the party forward seemed to exist. However, differences in focus persisted; Some prioritize upcoming elections and immediate political activism while others emphasize long-term strategy and party development.

A major hurdle remains Mao's dual role as party leader and Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Disagreement exists. Some members call for his concentration on ministerial duties, suggesting potential resignation from the party leadership.

Another section emphasizes the democratic process of electing leadership at the next delegates' conference.

Next Steps:

Further discussions are planned for February 27th to map a united path. Key questions remain:

  • Can the DP truly reconcile and overcome internal divisions?
  • What are the details of the cooperation agreement presented to Mao?
  • Can the party bridge the gap between differing views on leadership and direction?

Only time will tell if these recent talks represent a genuine turning point for the DP.

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