Amama Mbabazi, who opposed anti-gay laws, to run for Ugandan president

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Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has announced his intention to run for President of Uganda.

Mr Mbabazi served as Prime Minister from 2011 until last year, when he was sacked by President Yoweri Museveni – who has been in power since 1986. It is the first time President Museveni has faced a serious challenger from his own party, the National Resistance Movement.

In a YouTube video, he said: “I come before you today, to tell you that I will be seeking your vote, first within my party the NRM as its flag bearer; and later on in the whole country for President in the 2016 Presidential elections.

“The coming election is about the future, about making Uganda work for everyone.

“It is about reinvigorating our country and making it fit for the 21st century and beyond.”

He has been notable for expressing opposition to Uganda’s infamous anti-gay laws, in contrast to President Museveni who is a firm advocate of them.

When the original “kill the gays” bill was being debated, Mr Mbabazi pointed out that homosexuality was already illegal, and did not need further punishment.

While he could hardly be considered pro-gay – describing homosexuality as an “abnormality” – he has frequently urged Ugandans to refrain from violence against LGBT people.

Last year, he said: “I think in our traditions, and this is what I believe. Homosexuality is treated as an abnormality. Given that as a fact, how do we treat abnormalities in our society. Do you kill them?

“If you identify an abnormality and you say ‘let’s kill these abnormals’, my conclusion is that you are the one that is abnormal….They need help.”

Last week, the Ugandan National Academy of Sciences endorsed a study that stated homosexuality is natural.