Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Besigye rules out rigging in polls

Even the  Supreme Court ruled that Museveni rigged the last presidential election. But now Dr.Besigye has said Museveni will rig no more because all his tricks are known, reports Daily Monitor's David Mafabi

Unlike previous ones, next year’s elections will not be rigged, the Inter Party Co-operation flag bearer, Dr Kizza Besigye, has said. Addressing a rally in Bufumbo Sub-county in Mbale District yesterday, Dr Besigye said he has spent the past five years understanding how the ruling party has always stolen the vote from him.

Learnt tricks
Dr Besigye, who is also leader of the Forum for Democratic Change party, in 2001 and 2006 unsuccessfully contested the presidential election results in the Supreme Court which, on both occasions, found that while there was non-compliance with electoral laws including rigging, its combined effect was not enough to affect the result.
This time, he said, the FDC has been preparing for the 2011 elections for the last five years and his party now knows what to do, where to deploy and how to overcome rigging that has been characterising Uganda’s elections since 1996.

“In 2001, I just shot into the race to contest as a president without planning and preparing for the rigging. This is what gave them an opportunity to rig. In 2006, I was in prison most of the time and this provided them with another avenue for the massive rigging,” he said.

“I did not even have enough time to move to all villages. But now we have been preparing for these elections for five years, nobody will rig them and go free, nobody, we are ready for anything.” He added: “I heard reports that while addressing people in Teso, President Museveni said he is going nowhere. If he has the power to stay then why does he go around the country making empty promises after 25 years? He will go and he won’t rig this time.”

New strategy
The IPC flag bearer, who has changed strategy, canvassing for votes deep in the villages unlike previously stopping in the urban areas, addressed crowds on the sticking issues of widespread poverty, poor education and how to improve production and income from agriculture in the relatively remote villages of Bufumbo, Buukonde, Wanale, Bubyangu on the remote slopes of Wanale ridge of Mt. Elgon.

He also traversed the villages of Bushiende, Busiu, and Busoba before addressing a rally at Mbale Municipality at Mbale SS Grounds. He said the IPC is riding on the declining support of President Museveni and his NRM with election statistics from the last three polls indicating that the support for the party was dwindling.

Game of numbers
“In 1996 President Museveni under Movement scored 75 per cent of the total vote, in 2001, he dropped to 69 per cent and in 2006 he came down to 57 per cent. “With this consistent decline in support, it indicates IPC is heading to State House in 2011 and nobody will rig for NRM even the army cannot do this because we are ready to retain some of them who will behave well,” said Dr Besigye.

Last night, President Museveni’s political assistant Mr Moses Byaruhanga denied the accusations of rigging. “We have never rigged an election, and we shall beat Besigye hands down. We do not need to rig in order to beat Besigye,” he said.

Additional reporting by Isaac Imaka

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