Long-Time Ugandan Opposition Leader,Kizza Besigye Abandons Presidential Race


Uganda’s four-time presidential election loser has abandoned plans to challenge long-term ruler President Yoweri Museveni for the top seat at next year’s vote.

Kizza Besigye, 64, declined to be the Forum for Democratic Change’s candidate, preferring instead to back a “Plan B” to fortify resistance against Museveni’s 34-year rule, party chairman Wasswa Birigwa said by phone from the capital, Kampala. Details of the plan will be unveiled later, he said.

The opposition leader — who was the president’s personal physician during a five-year bush war before Museveni came to power in January 1986 — challenged his former boss in the past four elections. Observers of the 2016 election said the vote lacked credibility.

Besigye has been arrested and detained numerous times on charges including treason and inciting violence and at one time fled into exile in South Africa.

The ruling National Resistance Movement has cleared Museveni, who is one of the longest-serving rulers in Africa, as its candidate for the February polls.

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