The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) president Jimmy Akena will not contest for The Democratic Alliance (TDA) flag bearer for the 2016 general elections.
According to the UPC, if the TDA accepts its terms, the party will field contestants for all other political posts right up to Parliament.
Speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters at Uganda House in Kampala today, UPC Administrative Secretary Mr Higenyi Kemba emphasized that it will only sign the TDA protocol on condition that their terms are met.
Among the terms the party wants is the ‘natural selection’ of area Members of Parliament according to their strength in an area instead of being selected by a TDA committee.
“We want the natural policy of strength to sort out the parliamentary seats, but TDA under the candidates committee will not choose for UPC; if they agree to those terms, we shall sign,” Mr Higenyi said.
He said his party would join the TDA in order to strengthen opposition to the ruling NRM party in 2016.
“We shall engage the TDA in order to field a formidable presidential aspirant for the opposition,” Mr Kemba said adding: “We as a party agree that we need to pull unified efforts against NRM.”
Meanwhile, the UPC also asked the TDA disregard any deal signed with the ‘former party president’ Olara Otunnu.
“Mr Otunnu did not sign at the time other political parties were signing because he needed authority from the National Council which had not sat for a long time, but he later went backdoor and signed on our behalf which is out of our Constitution,” Mr Higenyi said.
Of recent the UPC has been embroiled in a leadership wrangle that has pitted Jimmy Akena and Olara Otunnu, at times drawing in Mr David Pulkol.
In May this year the three men ran for the UPC party presidency, and Akena, who is also the Lira Municipality MP, was declared winner, a result contested by Dr Otunnu, who cited rigging and intimidation.
Akena is son and ‘political heir’ to founding UPC leader Apollo Milton Obote and his ascendency to the party presidency completed a family ‘hat trick’ after his mother Miria Kalule Obote also led the ‘Independence Party’ between 2005 and 2010.
In 2006 Miria Obote stood for Uganda’s topmost office but lost to incumbent president Yoweri Museveni. She has since gone into ‘political retirement’ but her son Jimmy Akena and daughter-in-law Betty Amongi, the Member of Parliament for Oyam South are active UPC members.