EU backs Museveni, Besigye dialogue

Kizza Besigye, Yoweri Museveni dialogue
European Union (EU) supports calls for dialogue between President, Yoweri Museveni (R) and his rival, Dr. Kizza Besigye (L) the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president.

Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, the head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Uganda supported calls for dialogue between President, Yoweri Museveni and his rival, Dr. Kizza Besigye the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president.

Schmidt told journalists at his residence in Kololo this morning that EU observes that there are unsettled issues in Uganda’s politics, adding that it’s the nature of multi-party democracy to sit down and talk.

“We believe that you will find no better time than now between two elections to have that conversation between National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party and other parties about the future of the country.” said Schmidt.

His remarks come only days after media reports quoted Dr. Besigye telling FDC party members in a workshop in Soroti district that they have reached an agreement to dialogue on the 2016 presidential election audit.

Recently, Daily Monitor quoted Katrina Byrenius Rosland, the Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, saying Sweden had been asked to facilitate possible dialogue in Uganda.

On Wednesday, Government Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo dismissed the report, saying there is no dialogue whatsoever between Museveni and Besigye. However, Schmidt notes that it is the European Union (EU) imposing the negotiations on Uganda but that it is only right for dialogue to happen.

Schmidt’s statements were not any different from those of the Italian Ambassador to Uganda, Domenico Fornara who said that it is time for Uganda to have dialogue.

“National Dialogue is always useful even more if you need to discuss the rules of the game.” said Fornara.  Dr. Kizza Besigye contested and lost to Museveni in the February 2016 polls.  Museveni won the polls by 60.8 percent against Besigye’s 35.4 percent.

However, Besigye rejected the poll results, saying he had won the polls. He attempted to release parallel elections results but was stopped by police.

He later went ahead and declared himself winner of the polls, which led to his arrest and subsequent prosecution for treason, a matter, which is before court.

– URN