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Besigye on Standing for President in 2021: Let’s First Exhaust Consultations

Opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, will need to hold consultations with various stakeholders before deciding on contesting against President Museveni in 2021.

“Let’s exhaust the consultations we are doing on how to bring this regime to a close and once we have a way forward, it shall be communicated,” said Dr Besigye on Saturday in a social media engagement with fans.

Besigye has since 2001 been taking part in hotly contested presidential elections, losing to President Museveni.

He attributes his failed election bids to rigging perpetrated by the sitting government, accusations the president denies.

Unlike several opposition politicians who’ve returned to the ruling party, Besigye has for the last two decades stood his ground, insisting President Museveni must go.

This consistency has endeared him to millions of Ugandans.

However, sections of the opposition say Besigye has repeatedly fallen short of defeating Museveni in multiple elections and should hand over the challenge to more youthful politicians.

Besigye today said the reason he has not commented on whether he should become a candidate or not, is “I am not the issue and I should never be the issue in Uganda.”

He said, “No single person should be an issue at this time; what should be the issue is  Uganda- that it is free.”

This is the first time Besigye is commenting on his next course of action as the country prepares for general elections.

“I will have time to talk about candidature and the struggle but when we present ourselves, we distract the people from what the real struggle is- you find some people participate because of Besigye or any other candidate,” he argued.

“So until we find how to solve the problem of Uganda, I don’t want to be a mix in the confusion that Mr. Museveni loves.”

The NRM party has for the last two years been preparing to defeat the opposition which appears divided.

Some of the presidential hopefuls including Henry Tumukunde have since called for an opposition alliance to jointly canvass for support to take power from Museveni.

Bobi Wine’s pressure group, People Power and FDC recently agreed to work together for change.

However, People Power wants Besigye to rally behind Bobi Wine.

FDC top shots have rubbished this idea, saying Bobi lacks the grassroots structures to challenge Museveni’s hold onto power.

Besigye today said power lies in the military.

“You hear that there are 40 candidates. Forty candidates to do what when the person with our power is the military, what are the 40 candidates going to do?” said Besigye.

“Those who have followed me know that becoming an officer holder has never been my ambitions; I have never set out to be an office seeker. My ambition has always been to live in a free country where I have rights like any other Ugandan and where we have equal opportunities and equitably share our nation’s resources,” he emphasised.

In the 2016 polls, Museveni was re-elected with 61% of the vote to Besigye’s 35%.

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