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Mao's Presidential Ambitions Split DP on Tribal Grounds :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Mao's Presidential Ambitions Split DP on Tribal Grounds

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The public declaration by the Gulu LC5 chairperson, Norbert Mao, that he is interested in standing contesting for the presidency in 2011, has sparked off a tribal conflict in the Democratic Party.
Sources in the Democratic Party (DP) say key members of the party leadership are against Mao's candidature on tribal grounds. They argue that they cannot break the traditional trend of having a Muganda as leader of the party.
According to the sources, some in the DP intend to front the current Secretary-General, Lulume Bayega, as a potential candidate and possible successor to the party's President General, John Ssebaana Kizito.
But the younger members of the DP say they will not stand for what they perceive to be blatant tribalism.
Paul Kakande, national chairperson of Uganda Young Democrats, says attempts to block Mao on tribal grounds are part of an ill-perceived attempt by the DP leadership to hold onto power. He says the ethnicity of presidential candidates has nothing to do with their success at the polls, observing that during last year's elections, Ssebaana Kizito, did better in northern Uganda than in his ethnic home in the center of the country.
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Kakande says the Uganda Young Democrats have written to the DP leadership demanding for a delegates' conference to be convened this year to elect new party leaders. He says the mandate of the current leadership expired last year and wants fresh consensus on who should head the DP.
However the DP Secretary General Lulume Bayega says the party leaders have until next year before they can leave office. He says the DP national council extended the mandate of the leaders to allow for the smooth running of the party's on going constitutional review process.
Bayega advises Mao and his supporters from the Uganda Young Democrats to wait till next year when a delegates' conference will be convened.

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