Embattled opposition coalition, The Democratic Alliance is yet to drop the idea to field a single candidate to take on incumbent Yoweri Museveni in next year’s presidential elections.
Addressing journalists early today, the Democratic Party president Mr. Norbert Mao, who spoke on behalf of the Alliance, said that different meetings are being held by stakeholders to ensure the TDA emerges victorious in the polls.
“We have not yet given up on choosing a joint presidential candidate for the opposition as TDA,” Mr. Mao reiterated, adding that there ‘was light at the end of the tunnel.’
In one of the said meetings, various opposition gurus including former premier Amama Mbabazi, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer Col Dr Warren Kizza Besigye and ‘former’ Uganda Peoples Congress president Ambassador Olara Ottunnu earlier this month met with Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga to seek advice and chart a way forward.
However, while addressing Ugandans during the Independence Day celebrations in Gulu, the Kenyan Vice President William Ruto took a swipe at the Ugandan opposition, saying the meetings will not yield fruit since the Ugandans consulted the ‘losers’ in Kenya.
But Mao scoffed at Ruto’s words, insisting the meeting in Kenya was a success and that Raila Odinga had advised the Ugandan opposition to take time in reaching a consensus on the joint presidential candidate.
“This is the direction which the coalition is taking,” Mr Mao said, before questioning Mr Ruto’s moral authority to make such comments.
“Those comments were uncalled for from His Excellency William Ruto, but when we get to power, we shall forgive him,” Mao added.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Dr Besigye and Mr Mbabazi held another meeting in London in preparation for the general elections.
According to Mao, the London meeting was chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, in the presence of former Uganda People’s Congress party leader Ambassador Olara Otunnu.
And Mao said Mr Annan was the right choice because of the reputation of his Kofi Annan Foundation that played a big role in solving the conflicts between Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.
However, insider details of this meeting have not been announced, with both Mbabazi and Dr Besigye saying they will brief their ‘respective political structures’.
“We shall get a full briefing about this meeting on Thursday when the TDA summit sits for a meeting as we look to scan the political horizon,” Mr. Mao said.
The Democratic Alliance is an opposition coalition that was formed by various opposition political parties in a bid to end the 29 year reign of President Museveni and his NRM government.
However, to date efforts to front a single opposition candidate against Museveni is still a mirage, with the two favourite contenders, Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye failing to personally agree on who should be the TDA flag bearer.