FDC ghosts return to haunt Alaso’s election

FDC candidate for Serere Country by-election Emmanuel Eratu (left) and the party president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, address the media at their headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala on January 30, 2023. PHOTO/SYLIVIA KATUSHABE 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Amuriat revealed that the party will not back Ms Alaso because ANT members left FDC under irreconcilable differences.

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has unveiled its candidate for Member of Parliament (MP) in the Serere County by-election.

Although the Alliance National for Transformation (ANT) asked their fellow Opposition to back their candidate, Mr Patrick Amuriat, the FDC president, said they had never received an official call from ANT.

Ms Alice Alaso, the former Serere Woman MP, who is also a former Secretary General of FDC, is eyeing the Serere seat on the ANT ticket.

While unveiling Mr Emmanuel Eratu as the FDC candidate for Serere Country MP by-election, Mr Amuriat revealed that the party will not back Ms Alaso because ANT members left FDC under irreconcilable differences.

“At the time of the departure of [those] individuals from FDC, in their own words, [there were] irreconcilable differences and that needs to be taken into account. We still have [to be] accountable to our differences and, therefore, I look forward to a time when once again we can come back to work as a common front,” Mr Amuriat said.

He also said the party no longer believes in alliances.
“Anybody who dreams that alliances would subdue Museveni in any election at any level, surely needs to do their homework again. Unless we have reforms in this country in accordance with the political dispensation, then we can talk about alliances being meaningful,” Mr Amuriat said.

The FDC president added that the party doesn’t expect much from the by-election, but rather the “usual violence, direct vote rigging of elections and use of money by the ruling government’’.

“For now, we use the elections to propagate our struggles and carry out civic education among the population, so that they may understand how this regime has defeated them and continues to cheat them,’’ Mr Amuriat said.
However, he noted that they have confidence in the people of Serere in supporting FDC.
Mr Aratu, who is also a former independent candidate for Member of Parliament for Serere Country in 2021, also received his party membership card, the party constitution, and the party flag.

He said he was ready to take up the seat and improve service delivery and unity.
“I know there are so many challenges ahead, but this is not the first time that I am contesting, I know the field well, I am a born of Serere and I am ready. I am a strong candidate and I will lead the people of Serere and address their needs,” Mr Aratu said.

Ms Alaso told Monitor that they had reached out to FDC for support, but they have never received any feedback.

“The FDC is simply playing the role of a spoiler. They are not in this election to win, but to divide the Opposition votes, which is most unfortunate because it pains those of us who built the party, but we are determined to win,’’ Mr Alaso said.

When asked about their irreconcilable differences, Ms Alaso noted that their differences were on strategy, but “not on personal ground’’.

She also revealed that ANT awaits feedback from the National Unity Platform (NUP) and Justice Forum (Jeema)

The Serere seat fell vacant after the death of the area MP, Patrick Okabe, last year in a road accident.
According to the Electoral Commission road map, nomination of candidates will be conducted on February 9 and 10, followed by campaign meetings from February 13 to 21 and voting on February 23.