Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Besigye sets conditions for talks with Museveni


Kampala. Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has set five pre-conditions for any national dialogue on the political future of Uganda. Speaking during a press conference Dr Besigye gave an elaboration of the five conditions being a respected facilitator agreeable to all parties, a formal and properly structured process, clear agenda for the talks, mechanism to guarantee implementation of outcomes and equality of parties to the dialogue.

Responding to a question at a press conference in Kampala on whether he would embrace talks, the four-time challenger to President Museveni yesterday said he would be open to the idea if the discussions were “properly structured” and guarantors for implementation of the outcomes.

“There must be a structured process and that is why we have been talking about agreeing on a mutual facilitator that starts the process,” he said, hinting that different actors have tried to broker talks.

The Elders Forum and religious leaders, and before them journalists Conrad Nkutu and Andrew Mwenda, have since the impugned 2011 ballot separately attempted to get Dr Besigye and President Museveni to talk. All have until now been unsuccessful.

Other political leaders have previously suggested holding of a national conference, bringing together political, religious, civic and traditional leaders alongside professionals, to discuss manifestly polarising governance issues including President Museveni’s succession.

Whereas the president has said before that he is open to talks, he has rejected outright any pre-conditions, including the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party’s clarion call for an international audit of the February 2016 presidential vote results. Dr Besigye claimed he won by 52 per cent, but the Supreme Court in a petitioned filed by losing Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi ruled, that the incumbent was the victor. (NMG)