Former Presidential Candidates Shun Museveni Swearing-in Ceremony

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In short
Although Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for the Presidency says all political parties and former presidential aspirants were sent invitations, the Presidents of Uganda Peoples congress UPC, Democratic Party DP and Justice Forum JEEMA have said that their parties were not invited for the event.

Former presidential candidates and major political parties in Uganda will not attend the swearing in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni scheduled for tomorrow.

Uganda Radio Network reached out to the former presidential candidates Dr Abed Bwanika, General Benon Biraro, Amama Mbabazi, Maureen Kyalya and Elton Joseph Mabiriizi. They all said they would not attend the event due to take place at Kololo airstrip. While most of them say the event is worthless, Mabiriizi and Mbabazi said they did not receive formal invitations to the event.

Out of the six presidential candidates, only Maureen Kyalya said she would attend the event.

"I was given an invitation card but I am still pondering whether to go or because I don't see why I should have to attend, neither do I see a central reason for not attending because regardless of the outcome of the February polls, Uganda must remain peaceful and forge a way forward," Maureen Kyalya said.

However Professor Venancious Baryamureeba could not be reached by press time.

Although Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for the Presidency says all political parties and former presidential aspirants were sent invitations, the Presidents of Uganda People's congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP) and Justice Forum (JEEMA) have said that their parties were not invited for the event.

UPC president Olara Otunnu says that the lack of invitation for opposition political parties confirms that the elections were illegitimate.

"I cannot be a part of a sham and fraudulent election, and besides, I am not aware of any invitation to the UPC, but that shows you how fraudulent the entire process is. Let him swear in against the will of the people," Otunnu says.

JEEMA president Asuman Basalirwa says he was equally not invited for the swearing-in ceremony adding that the national organizing committee just displayed irresponsibility by sidelining key players in the democratization process.

Basalirwa adds that it's ironical that an event which would have been used to extend an olive branch to the opposition is taking place when most of them are under house arrest.
 
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The President of the Democratic Party Norbert Mao says that attending the swearing-in ceremony would mean they agree with the decision that Museveni rightfully won the February 18 presidential election.

Meanwhile the FDC party presidential aspirant Kizza Besigye in a video released by the FDC swore in as 'President of the people'. Although he managed to evade security that was camped at his home, Besigye was again rearrested and was being held at Naggalama police station.
 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.