The Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit which has caused a lot of controversy within opposition political parties, is happening today at Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.
IPOD is an organisation formed in 2010 to allow political parties with representation in Parliament dialogue consistently on key political issues.
Five political parties including National Resistance Movement (NRM), Democratic Party (DP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have representatives in the national assembly and this automatically qualifies them as members.
However, in the last few weeks controversy has ensued within different political parties from the opposition on whether or not to attend today’s summit.
At first, both Democratic Party and Forum for Democratic Change vowed not to be part of the event.
While addressing journalists at the FDC headquarters in November, party spokesperson, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, noted that his party would only attend the summit if the agenda form was set beforehand and discussing Museveni’s exit is part of the dialogue.
He also demanded that the summit is not held at State House, arguing that the venue is the President’s residence and not NRM party offices.
On the other side, DP noted that they could not attend a dialogue whose out come is already pre-conceived as “window dressing”.
However, in a turn of events, DP last week reversed their earlier position and confirmed participation in the summit, saying the ground had been leveled since the venue is not State House.
“Although we have reservations, a boycott would present an opportunity for National Resistance Movement Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni to ridicule the opposition,” Party Secretary General, Gerald Siranda explained on Sunday.
FDC’s shunning of today’s summit leaves them as the only signatory to the IPOD MoU, which is not attending, President Museveni has already confirmed presence.
Opposition parties have always demanded for reforms in electoral laws, it however remains unclear whether, they will be one of the items on the agenda.