Amid scattered voices of dissent mainly from supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change, former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has been unveiled as the joint flag bearer for The Democratic Alliance.
“Let me confirm for the 11th time, TDA has no Joint Presidential Candidate. No one has been agreed upon. It is unfortunate that some of TDA leaders who signed the statement I read to the media in their presence about this matter, are the same ones declaring one of the two candidates we did not reach consensus on as a TDA candidate,” Wafula Oguttu, the spokesperson of TDA wrote on his Facebook wall.
“I think that by pulling out of TDA, Dr Besigye may actually have saved the FDC party from self-destruction. There were no guarantees that after loaning his supporters and his party structures to Amama Mbabazi, he would get them back after 2016 election. With FDC’s structural support, Mbabazi would become the only formidable opposition leader after 2016 and would definitely try to own the party supporters and regional/local structures. So the 10yrs the FDC has spent building the party, would be meaningless. You build and then transfer to an opponent/ newcomer? It only makes sense if you are a weak party looking at short-term strategic gains,” Gerald Bareeba, a Teaching Assistant and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in Canada wrote on his Facebook wall.
Mr Mbabazi, formerly a self-avowed National Resistance Movement (NRM) – leaning candidate who reportedly broke ranks with the party after a series of disagreements and FDC flag bearer Colonel (rtd) Doctor Kizza Besigye, have been locked in a marathon contest for one of them to become the joint presidential candidate of the TDA.
But later today, Mr Mbabazi was declared TDA’s flag bearer in a statement presented by Nobert Mao, one of the four people who had sought to run for the same position.
Mao, who is also the Democratic Party’s President General, said Mbabazi was selected by the alliance as its flag bearer by the majority of the summit.
“Our protocol does not allow more than one person to carry the flag for the alliance because presenting two candidates goes against our unity,” he added.
Mao’s announcement comes a few hours after the TDA Head of Operations Bishop Zac Niringiye addressed a press conference and said members of TDA had agreed on having Mr Mbabazi and Dr Besigye as TDA candidates.