The Democratic Party (DP) president, Mr Norbert Mao, has said the absence of the biggest Opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), will significantly undermine the relevance of the long awaited Inter-party Organisations Dialogue (Ipod).
Founded in 2009, Ipod is a forum for leaders of political parties with representation in Parliament to engage on matters of common interest. Only four political parties have confirmed participation and they are Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC),w DP, Justice Forum (Jeema) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Mr Mao quoted the MoU signed in 2010 by all parties, indicating that no single resolution can be arrived at with the absence of one of the political leaders.
“If one of the Ipod member is missing, then the summit will be more of a consultative meeting because you cannot come to a conclusion when one of your members is absent,” Mr Mao told journalists in Kampala yesterday.
Early this month, Mr Wasswa Biriggwa, the FDC chairperson, announced that they would not attend today’s Ipod summit because there had been no negotiations between the parties’ principals who, in his view, should only meet to endorse matters already agreed by their assistants.
It is now eight years since the Ipod was formed and this meeting, organised by UPC, who are currently chairing the committee after they took over from NRM, will be the first ever engagement.
The Opposition has in the past accused President Museveni of frustrating the meetings.
“The reason why Ipod has been paralysed is that the person who is on top of everything has been cancelling the meetings for several times; now it seems FDC is taking the same route because we have been in this together,” he said.
Mr Mao added: “One of the expectations in this meeting will be based on concession; Museveni has to concede that he has not been respecting the Constitution on several occasions.”