Uganda's president takes part in first election debate

Uganda's president takes part in first election debate

- Yowei Museveni has taken part in Uganda's presidential debate ahead of Thursday's election

- Mr. Museveni is been contested by eight candidates for the presidential position

- Museveni has been accused of corruption ahead of the polls

Uganda's president takes part in first election debate

The candidates holding hands for a moment of prayer before the debate

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has taken part in his first televised debate ahead of elections on this coming Thursday after snubbing Uganda’s first pre-election debate last month.

His excuse then was that, such events were for schoolchildren. Mr. Museveni who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule by winning a fifth term in government has many contenders for this year’s elections.

The focus of the second debate was foreign policy and national security, which is considered to be Mr Museveni's strongest points. The first debate focused on domestic issues such as health and education.

The BBC reports that most observers thought Mr Museveni maintained his composure and made concise points, however, the moderators were less challenging in this debate. Some analysts wonder whether this was one of Mr Museveni's conditions for attending.

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Mr Museveni said his rivals' allegations of corruption were fictional and also dismissed criticism of his economic policies and the state of the health care system.

Eight presidential candidates are contesting Thursday's polls that would see Ugandans vote in parliamentary and local elections. For the first time, Mr Museveni and his National Resistance Movement will face two strong opponents.

They are Kizza Besigye, the veteran opposition leader, and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and close ally of the president. Mr Besigya leads the Forum for Democratic Change, while Mr Mbabazi is running as an independent with the GoForward pressure group.

 

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