The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile says his party will not succumb to pressure from the Umbrella of Democratic Change (UDC).
This comes after the UDC instructed the BCP to submit letters of Expression of Interest (EOI) from their Members of Parliament(MPs) and councilors to contest the upcoming 2024 elections under the coalition.
The BCP, which forms part of the UDC, has since suspended its activities from the coalition after a fall out between its leader Dumelang Saleshando and the UDC President Duma Boko. Other parties that form the UDC are the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
Meanwhile the BCP has also suspended its five Members of Parliament Dithapelo Keorapetse, Dr Never Tshabang, Onneile Ramogapi, Kenny Kapinga and David Tshere for defying the party caucus which led to Saleshando losing his seat as Leader of Opposition (LOO). Keorapetse assumed the seat as the new Leader of Opposition. Kapinga has since retraced his steps to the BCP.
Boko had given the BCP MPs and councilors up until 26 September 2022(Monday) to have written letters to decide on whether or not they want to contest the upcoming elections in 2024 under the UDC ticket.
In an interview with the Telegraph during the day of the deadline for submission of letters on Monday, Kekgonegile said they are not in any pressure to meet such a deadline.
“At the moment we are not aware of any of our councilors or Members of Parliament who have tendered any interest to contest under the UDC ticket but what I know is that there will obviously be a small number who will tender such letters. This will be nothing to cause any alarm or harm to the BCP,” he said.
Boko has assured MPs and councilors from the BCP that if they contest the upcoming elections under the UDC ticket, they will not have to go through primary elections. The move by Boko has been viewed by some political pundits as undemocratic and as a ploy to destabilize and destroy the BCP.
Reached for comment on Monday UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa said they will only reveal numbers of those who tendered their letters from the BCP expressing their interest by Tuesday(27 September 2022). He however could not comment further. The BCP is currently working in coalition with the Alliance for Progressives (AP) to unseat the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from power in 2024.