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All set for Uganda's presidential debate, Museveni's participation unclear

14 January 2016, 17:09

Kampala - Uganda's presidential debates are set to kick off on Friday, with the participation of President Yoweri Museveni still remaining unclear, said reports on Thursday.

President Museveni has been challenged to a two leg debate by seven of his opponents, including his two front running challengers, the FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye as well as the Go Forward candidate Amama Mbabazi.

However, according to Daily Monitor, despite organisers claiming that everything is ready for the first leg of the debate, there has been no definite commitment from the president due to his "busy campaign schedule".

“I address four rallies a day. I do not know what my staff have worked out, if they resolve it, I will attend,” Museveni was quoted saying.

But, according to Observer, Besigye dismissed Museveni's remarks, saying the long-time president feared a public debate due to his party’s inability to develop the country in the last 30 years that it has been in power.

"He first accepted but yesterday [Monday] he said he can’t do it now. Of course we knew he would fear to come and face the people of Uganda whom he has told lies all these 30 years,” Besgiye was quoted as saying.

Uganda is expected to hold its presidential polls on February 18, with seven opposition candidates vying to end Museveni's 30-year rule, but they fear the elections could be marred by violence.    

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