Museveni is no longer strong, says DP’s Mao

 The Democratic Party (DP) has made a U-turn and will attend the Inter- party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) summit set for this month.

DP president Nobert Mao told this publication Sunday evening that “it is our decision to engage” in the talks despite being skeptical about whether the resolution that will be agreed upon in the summit will be implemented.

“IPOD will never go away. We will participate in the talks. Let us give Mr. Museveni a chance [to implement the resolution] after all he is no longer as strong as he used to be and has lost influence even in his party,” Mr Mao said.

Last week, the party had joined their Opposition counterpart, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, to reject attending such a meeting where Mr Museveni, the NRM chairman, is expected to attend.

Their announcements came at a time when the organizers are in the final stages of deciding on the date and venue to hold the summit.

IPOD was founded in 2009 as a forum for leaders of political parties with representation in Parliament to engage on matters of common interest.

Mr Kenneth Kakande, the DP spokesperson, told journalists during a weekly press conference in Kampala last week that they could not hold talks with NRM because they have lost the moral authority.

“As DP, we are not comfortable at all to sit with the ruling party NRM to discuss anything to do with the way forward for this country, they do not have faith, instead they care about their stay in power,” Mr Kakande said.

“We state that as DP, in principle, we believe in meaningful dialogue but we cannot participate in a dialogue where its outcome is pre-conceived as window dressing,” he added.

Mr Mao said he is saddened that FDC will not be part of the meeting “because we are stronger together” and it is time to unite as opposition and defeat “now weakened NRM”.

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