Uganda Plans First Televised Debate by Presidential Candidates

Uganda may hold its first ever televised debate by candidates planning to run for president in elections in February, the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda said.

President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Africa’s biggest coffee exporter for three decades, and seven of his challengers agreed to attend the council’s planned debate, Joshua Kitakule, the agency’s secretary-general said by phone Friday from the capital, Kampala. Museveni, 71, snubbed a previous debate in 2006.

The debate will be held Jan. 15 in Kampala, Kitakule said.

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and three-time presidential contender Kizza Besigye are among the challengers to Museveni’s quest to prolong his rule. The Ugandan leader, who captured power in 1986 after a five-year guerrilla war, first ruled for 10 years as an unelected leader, and has since won four five-year terms, the most recent poll being in 2011.

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