KAMPALA – The Inter-party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) summit has suffered another setback after the Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday also announced that they will not part of the establishment.
The DP revelation comes a day after another opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), also withdrew from the dialogue.
“As DP, we are not comfortable at all to sit with the ruling party NRM to discuss anything to do with the way forward of this country, they do not have faith at all instead they care about their stay in power,” Mr Kenneth Kakande, the DP Spokesperson, told journalists in Kampala.
“We state that as DP in principle, we believe in meaningful dialogue but we cannot participate in a dialogue were its outcome are pre-conceived as the way of window dressing,” he added.
Founded in 2009, IPOD is a consortium of political parties represented in Parliament which includes the NRM, FDC, DP, and UPC. It was initiated by development partners to bring those parties to a roundtable to generate consensus on various issues of national importance.
However, the withdrawal of the two opposition parties, who are key opposition players, spells doom for the future of the grouping that was seen as an attempt to create political harmony following violent contestations.
IPOD Chairman Fred Ebil, who is also the secretary general of UPC, on Tuesday evening expressed shock at the news and promised to engage DP and FDC leaders on the matter.
On Monday, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, the FDC party chairperson, said they have not been in talks with President Museveni over the proposed dialogue and were not to attend the IPOD whatsoever.
“We do not have room for photo-shows with Mr Museveni. We shall not attend it because we have not been in any kind of agreements for conclusion,” he said.
The IPOD, whose rotating leadership is now under UPC, has only welcomed back the Justice Forum (Jeema) party which had ceased membership ever since it’s only Member of Parliament, Mr Hussein Kyanjo left the House in 2016. Jeema returns to IPOD following the election of their party president, Mr Asuman Basalirwa as the MP for Bugiri Municipality.
The leaders of Inter-party Organization for Dialogue last month met President Museveni, the chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).