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Post by sol_drethedon on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:03 pm

Mbabazi not in Museveni’s succession queue - Besigye

The former Forum for Democratic Change president, Dr Kizza Besigye, has told Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to stop thinking that he is in the queue to replace President Museveni.
Dr Besigye, a three-time presidential candidate, advised Mr Mbabazi to join the military if he wanted his political aspiration to materialise.

“On the succession issue, I hear Mr Mbabazi is in the queue to replace Mr Museveni. Which queue?” Dr Besigye asked during an address at the third FDC Youth Convention in Kampala over the weekend. “In the queue there is no Mbabazi or Bukenya (Gilbert, former vice president). It is only Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Mr Museveni’s son. If they (Mr Mbabazi and Mr Bukenya) want, they should join the military,” Dr Besigye said.

However, the Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Tamale Mirundi, said yesterday there was no queue in the ruling party. “Where is it written that Museveni is going to be succeeded by anyone? There is no queue. The person who will succeed him will be voted by Ugandans and it will depend on how he markets himself,” he said.

Mr Mirundi also said the President will stand for re-election in 2016. “Anyone who says that Muhoozi is going to stand in 2016, may be suggesting that he is going to stand against Mr Museveni.” Brig Muhoozi is the commander of the Special Forces that guard President Museveni.

In the past when Muhoozi’s candidature has been mentioned, State House has come out to say he is still a serving military officer who would not be involved in partisan politics. State House, however, says Muhoozi has a right as a citizen of Uganda to seek election for any post.

The former FDC leader noted that the National Resistance Army (NRA) which captured power in 1986 has been defused with the political organisation NRM” with a small clique of the military holding power and controlled by the President.” According to Dr Besigye, presidential hopefuls like the premier and former vice president can’t ascend to the office of the President unless they join the army.

The media has been awash with stories of Mr Mbabazi’s potential candidature in 2016 when Ugandans go to the polls. The prime minister has tacticfully dodged questions regarding his interest in the presidency. Last month, he told a meeting of EU ambassador that he would contest if the party members chose him as flag bearer.

Mr Mbabazi, Uganda’s tenth Prime Minister is 65-years old. He has held several sensitive cabinet portfolios, including director general External Security Organisation, Minister of State for Defence, Minister of State for Security and now PM.

Interestingly, in 2000 when Dr Besigye fell out with the regime and declared his candidature, Mr Mbabazi accused him of having “jumped the queue.” Besigye had authored a dossier disparaging the ruling National Resistance Movement as having “derailed” from its original mission and principles. As he faced the possibility of being arraigned before the court martial for speaking out in the “wrong” forum, he declared that he would contest for the presidency in the 2001 polls. He went on to repeat the feat in 2006 and 2011 but lost to the incumbent, President Museveni.

Former vice president Prof Bukenya has come out openly to say he will contest for President in 2016. Over the weekend he announced the launch of a new organization - the New Movement, insisting he would not quit NRM.

Mr Bukenya, 65, is Busiro North MP and has held key positions in President Museveni’s cabinet, including minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the Presidency and vice president.
Dr Besigye said until the military hands power to civilians, no politician can be fairly elected president.

He also cast doubt on the ability of the civil society and opposition proposed electoral reforms to bring a peaceful transition. He said the major stumbling block to free and fair elections was the composition of the Electoral Commission. “Even if you declare an opposition leader as president, he will not take office. The ourt declared Erias Lukwago (is still) Kampala Lord Mayor, is he in office?,” he wondered.

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