More youth members of the Forum for Democratic Change are taking a stand in actively demanding that former President of the party Dr. Kizza Besigye contests for flag bearer ahead of the 2016 elections.
This week, the youth supporters of FDC from Busoga sub-region mobilized some Ushs4 million to ask Besigye to contest for FDC flag bearer.
This comes after their counterparts in Kampala raised Ushs15m as a token towards Besigye’s nomination expenses. Unlike in Kampala where police beat up the youth who demonstrated with their cash as they claimed they wanted to petition Besigye, the FDC youth supporters escaped police brutality.
FDC’s Electoral Commission boss Dan Mugarura announced recently that the commission had opened its doors for nominations of flag bearer and elections will be held at a special delegates conference set for September 1 and 2, 2015.
The fund-raising for Besigye comes after the party president Gen. Mugisha Muntu declared he wants to stand for flag bearer although he has not picked nomination forms yet.
According to Mugalura, only one person known as Moses Mugisha, has picked nomination forms.
A fortnight ago, FDC elected its NEC in elections that saw the former Leader of Opposition Nathan Nandala Mafabi bounce back into the top leadership of the party as its secretary general. He defeated Kasiano Wadri. Kampala woman MP Nabilah Sempala, a strong supporter of Mugisha Muntu, withdrew from the race for secretary general.
But the race for the presidential flag bearer is likely to stir up debates and divisions within the party, following revelations that a strong following of the party still wants their former president Dr. Kizza Besigye to contest against President Yoweri Museveni for the third time.
Besigye has stated that he would never stand again in an election organised by President Yoweri Museveni’s hand-picked electoral commissioners. Nonetheless, he was elected as a delegate in his home district of Rukungiri.
FDC EC boss Mugarura outlined requirements for aspiring flag bearers.
“Nominations of candidates that must have fulfilled all the requirements shall be held on July 1 and 2 in a free and open manner.
“All party members qualify to vie for the post as long as they are registered voters according to the country’s electoral commission,” Mugarura explained.
Mugarura dded: “A candidate must be between 35 to 75 years and is of sound mind proposed by a party delegate and seconded by 10 party delegates.”
He observed that all willing party members must pay a fee of Ushs3.5M which won’t be refunded at any cost.
During the recent swearing-in ceremony of new NEC members, the party president Gen. Muntu made no secret of his intentions to fight for the ticket.
“I have been traversing the country with the aim of building party structures but now I am offering myself as a flag bearer and the doors are open to whoever wants to stand against me,” Muntu said.
However, last week, several FDC youth and delegates were seen petitioning Col. Kizza Besigye to compete for the party’s flag. They argue that he is the only one who can take on Museveni.
It should be noted however that the former party president has not yet come out to respond to the petition.
FDC is one of the major parties under the recently created The Democratic Alliance that seeks to bring an end to President Museveni’s tight grip on power. But whoever gets the party’s flag will stand a high chance of getting elected as the joint flag bearer for the alliance.