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FDC set to stage public debate for contestants

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Mr Dan Mugarura, the FDC Electoral Commission chairperson, addresses journalists

Mr Dan Mugarura, the FDC Electoral Commission chairperson, addresses journalists yesterday. He said the party will this week hold a public debate for the three candidates vying for the presidency of the party. PHOTO BY Rebecca Versie. 

By Sarah Tumwebaze

Posted  Tuesday, November 13  2012 at  02:00

In Summary

Mr Dan Mugarura, the Electoral Commission chairperson, says the debate is to meant to show the public how the party has matured democratically.

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Kampala

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is organising a public debate for the three candidates running for the top party seat.

While the date and venue for the debate have not yet been fixed, the party Electoral Commission chairperson, Mr Dan Mugarura, during the party’s weekly press conference at their head offices in Kampala yesterday, said the debate scheduled for this week and would feature Mr Nandala Mafabi, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Mr Geoffrey Ekanya.

Mr Mugarura said the trio would show their strong points and give reasons as to why each one of them is the best candidate for the seat. “It is sponsored by FDC and the Civil Society Organisation of Uganda. We shall communicate the date and time after securing the venue but it has to happen this week,” he said.

However, Mr Francis Mwijukye, Maj. Gen. Muntu’s campaign manager, expressed doubt about their attendance, saying they are not aware of the debate.

In a telephone interview with the Daily Monitor, Mr Mwijukye said: “We are not aware of any debate because candidates drew up programmes for their campaigns and this whole week, we are going to be in Busoga and western Uganda” He added that it would not be possible for Maj. Muntu to be available due to the tight schedule and would only be back in Kampala next week.

On the other hand, Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, who heads Mr Mafabi’s campaign team, said they would only attend as long as the intentions for the campaign were made clear. “I am not yet sure about the debate because I just heard talk about it. While we are not under any obligation to attend, as long as the levels and intentions for the debate are clear, we shall have no problem,” Maj Ruranga said.

Mr Ekanya was not available for comment as he was in a meeting. Campaigns for the FDC top seat started three months ago after Col. (retd) Dr Kizza Besigye announced he would retire before 2014.

Dr Besigye said he wanted create ample time for the next party leader to consolidate himself in leadership early enough before the 2016 presidential elections. Mr Mugarura said the debate is intended to show the public that the campaigns have been a success, despite the constant word-throwing.

stumwebaze@ug.nationmedia.com