‘NRM Comfortable with Besigye as Museveni’s Opponent in Next Presidential Election’
Kasule Lumumba: Better the Opponent You Know
Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement is comfortable with three-decade president Yoweri Museveni wrestling with four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye at the next election, a senior party official has said.
Since falling out with a man he treated in the five-year bush war that brought Museveni to power in 1986, Besigye has challenged his former master in presidential elections.
From 2001, 2006, 2011 to 2016, Museveni and Besigye have been constants on the presidential election ballot papers.
Besigye has always claimed Museveni rigs the elections.
After the 2016 election, Besigye swore himself in as “the people’s president”.
He still faces treason charges.
Kasule Lumumba: NRM Comfortable with Besigye in 2021
Both Museveni and Besigye have not expressed interest in contesting in the next election.
But majority of Museveni’s NRM MPs voted to remove the presidential age limit to all the former bush war commander rule beyond the age of 75.
It is also unclear yet as to whether Uganda will go the polls in 2021 or 2023.
Last December, MPs extended their term from five to seven years.
But experts and a section of Ugandans insist the extension was illegal.
Ugandans will have to determine whether to extend Museveni’s five-year term for two years.
But even before that time comes and the decision is taken on when to next go to the polls, Museveni’s NRM party is more comfortable with Besigye than a new stronger candidate.
“For us as NRM, we would love to continue with an opponent we have tried with and have managed to win,” said party secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba during an NBS TV Thursday night political talk show.
“When you go to the battle field with an opponent you know, it’s easier to handle them as opposed to a new opponent.”
Analysts have accused Besigye of overstaying in opposition — just like Museveni has overstayed in power.