Dove Magazine

A First: Uganda’s Museveni Takes Part in Presidential Debate

Six Ugandan presidential candidates waited for several minutes after being introduced at Saturday evening’s debate before President Yoweri Museveni appeared belatedly on stage.

Because Museveni has never participated in such a debate during his 30 years in office, the moment was historic.

The president offered an explanation as to why he missed a previous debate in January.

“Thank you very much for organizing this debate,” he said. “The other time I did not come because I was far away.”

The eight candidates — the last one appeared later in the event — focused on foreign policy and national security issues, while touching on other topics. Health care and education dominated the first debate.

This time around, candidates gave their positions on topics such as whether Uganda should continue sending troops to conflict zones like Somalia and South Sudan; how the country can best fight terrorism threats; if it should withdraw from the International Criminal Court; and how best to improve the economy.

Museveni — with the ruling NRM party — was joined on stage by Kizza Besigye, the longtime leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister to the president who is running as an independent, as well as five other candidates.

Besigye has run against Museveni three times before, losing each time amid accusations that the president’s supporters rigged the vote and intimidated his opponents.

In the debate, the 71-year-old Museveni briefly addressed one of the biggest concerns about his presidency.

“Finally, about democracy, democracy means that people support you,” he said. “If they don’t support you, you don’t win. That’s all.”

Businessman Edward Luwemba, who attended the debate, said Ugandans benefit from hearing the views of all the candidates.

“Look, they want to make informed decisions, on reason and logic. Not just a matter of ‘I love so and so,’ but they want to know what someone is going to offer them,” he said.

Ugandans head to the polls Thursday. — VOA NEWS 

Recommended For You.

Kizza Besigye waves shortly before being arrested by Ugandan police in Kampala on Monday. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP
Kizza Besigye waves shortly before being arrested by Ugandan police in Kampala on Monday. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP The arrest of a

Related Articles:

France's Jean-Marie Le Pen 'pulls out of poll'
Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Floyd the winner with unanimous decision - live reaction NOW
Chad Bombs Boko Haram Bases in Nigeria
27 aid workers killed in South Sudan conflict: UN envoy
Pope Francis Immigration Speech Makes Republican Catholics Cry
Warplanes in Libyan skies may signal next major battle in fight to contain Islamic State
One Year After Attack, Pakistan Claims Changed Policy
Clinton won more votes, Trump won the election. And it's not the first time

Leave a Reply

Advertisement

Developed by Amitabha Technology, Inc.