Democratic Party (DP) President, Norbert Mao, is looking at the group of some 15 Members of Parliament that announced last week that they were leaving the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as a possible hunting ground for recruits.
FDC MPs Angelline Osegge (Soroti Woman), Herbert Ariko (Soroti Municipality), Elijah Okupa (Kasilo), Samuel Odonga Otto (Aruu), Prof. Ogenga Latigo (Agago), Simon Oyet (Nwoya), Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Francis Gonahansa (Kabweri) and Abdul Katuntu (Bugweri) among others announced that they would not seek re-election under their party flag.
Others like Winfred Kiiza (Kasese Woman) and Jack Wamai announced their retirement from elective politics.
Some of these MPs gave up on the FDC flag after they were blocked by their respective party branches over unresolved issues at the party headquarters.
FDC spokesman, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said during the party’s weekly press briefing that the MPs had failed to meet the requirements to be sponsored by the FDC at next year’s Parliamentary elections.
Following their declaration, Mao reportedly telephoned some of them, asking them to pick the DP card.
The DP president has since Monday not responded to our repeated phone calls but is understood to have had talks with mainly the MPs from the Acholi sub-region.
“Mao has me suggesting that we meet and discuss the possibility of running as a DP candidate in Nwoya,” Oyet said last week.
Until Mao’s suggestion came in, Oyet was seeking re-election as an independent candidate just like his Aruu counterpart.
Oyet’s constituency is historically a DP stronghold. Until the 2006 elections, it was held by former DP vice president Zachary Olum.
Winning the defecting FDC MPs to his side could be Mao’s alternative plan to fill the gap created by desertions from his party.
Except for three MPs namely, Babirye Kabanda (Masaka Woman), Deogratius Kiyingi (Bukomansimbi South) and Lyandro Komakech (Gulu Municipality), the rest of the 15 DP MPs are not seeking the party’s endorsement for their re-election bids.
Some of them like Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality) and Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala) announced on Wednesday that they will operate under presidential aspirant, Robert Kyagulanyi’s newly acquired party, the National Unity Platform.