Besigye, who revealed this during a consultative meeting on constitutional and electoral reforms held at Speke Resort Munyonyo last week, said the 2026 presidential elections, which will be organised by the state, are less likely to bring about freedom for Ugandans.
Is Besigye quitting elective politics?
Opposition figurehead Kizza Besigye has come out to declare that he will not be standing for president come 2026.
"If you are planning to have a sole candidate for the 2026 presidential elections, I am not with you. I don’t think that 2026 in itself, organised under what we have been discussing, will ever cause Ugandans to be free, and the sooner we really unite over that, the better for this country," he said.
Besigye’s revelation followed a suggestion tabled by the Kilak South Member of Parliament (MP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) member, Gilbert Olanya, that he stands in 2026 as the joint opposition presidential flag bearer.
His revelation has led to mixed reactions within the opposition, most especially the FDC, as members try to find ways to rejuvenate the party’s position in elective politics.
Some political observers, such as Charles Rwomushana, argue, however, that Besigye is not refusing to run in protest but running away because the political space has become too competitive for him, especially with new players such as Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
"He is actually not refusing to stand in protest; he is running away. He is of no consequence. He is now a liability. He did not add a brick to the base left to him by former Grenland Bank owner, Dr. Sulieman Kiggundu," Rwomushana said, adding that Besigye is also scared of new political players.
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