NewsEast & Horn AfricaUganda to hold first ever presidential election debate


Posted on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 13:05

Uganda to hold first ever presidential election debate

By Godfrey Olukya

For the first time in Uganda's history, presidential election candidates will appear in a live television debate ahead of next year's polls.

Uganda's Council Forum said the country's first ever live presidential debate will take place on January15, 2016, at Serena hotel in Kampala. The elections are scheduled for February.

The debate is meant for Ugandans to listen to the presidential candidates and then judge for themselves

Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) and Uganda Elders Forum (EF), the organisers of the debate, said the event will give voters an easy platform to scrutinise the candidates ahead of the polls.

IRCU chairperson Stanley Ntagali and EF chairperson, Justice James Ogoola said the debate would largely be centered on peace building, especially during the elections.

"The debate is meant for Ugandans to listen to the presidential candidates and then judge for themselves. I call l upon all Ugandans to follow up the debate," said Ntangali who is also archbishop of the Anglican church of Uganda.

Ogoola said all eight presidential candidates, including President Yoweri Museveni, his arch rival Kizza Besigye who has stood against him three times, and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, had confirmed their participation in the debate.

"The council and forum are expecting all the presidential candidates to face off in this debate after all of them confirmed attendance," he said.

Among the large number of Ugandans expected to watch the live broadcast, are many undecided voters, like Kampala-based mechanic Leonard Bwagu. Bwagu said he hope to make his "choice on 15 January after the candidates have defended their manifestos."

Peruse Nambatya, a secondary school teacher is also waiting for the debate to make up his mind. "The debate will give us opportunity to listen to the candidates while they are together. I will definitely attend the debate," he said.

The other candidates vying for the presidency include Venasius Baryamureba, Joseph Mbaziira, Benon Biraro and Maureen Kyalya, the only female candidate.

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