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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 11:16 GMT
Museveni rival to run in election
besigye poster
Party officials were in a lively mood at the nomination ceremony
Imprisoned Ugandan opposition politician Dr Kizza Besigye has been declared a presidential candidate by the electoral commission.

Dr Besigye is accused by the government of treason, terrorism and rape

His supporters say the charges are to stop him from running against President Yoweri Museveni in the 2006 polls.

With Dr Besigye unable to attend the nomination ceremony, party officials stuck a poster of Dr Besigye on an empty chair with a baseball cap on top.

Officials from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) celebrated after the head of Uganda's electoral commission formally declared Dr Besigye a presidential candidate.

We have agreed to participate even in a flawed election, as this already is, and even with our candidate in jail
Winnie Byanyima
They have vowed to defeat President Museveni from prison if their candidate's trial has not ended by election time.

However, if found guilty Dr Besigye will have to withdraw from the presidential race.

"We have agreed to participate even in a flawed election, as this already is, and even with our candidate in jail," Winnie Byanyima, Dr Besigye's wife and a senior member of his FDC party, told reporters.

On Thursday, Dr Besigye's rival, President Museveni, is due to be nominated.

This is the first multi party election since 1980 and 35 people are intending to contest including the widow of former president Milton Obote.

Last week Dr Besigye was allowed to sign his nomination papers in prison.

He has denied claims that he is linked to two rebel groups.

He was arrested in November, three weeks after ending a four-year exile, vowing to end President Museveni's "dictatorship".


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