Wednesday, January 19, 2022

BCP promises more robust voice in parliament

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has vowed it will have a more vocal presence in parliament, despite its reduced numerical strength in the House in the wake of the recent national elections.

The BCP suffered a humiliating blow during the October 24th national elections – emerging with only three seats from its initial six.

New Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe, on Monday announced the appointment of BCP MP Bagalatia Arone as Leader of the party in parliament while his youthful party colleague, Dithapelo Keorapetse, was nominated as the party’s whip.

“I initially told the party leadership to nominate Keorapetse for the position but I was surprised the leadership eventually settled for me,” Arone said in an interview after the official announcement.
Currently the BCP’s Youth League President, Keorapetse was thought to be better suited for the role of Leader of the party in parliament as Arone considered himself a mere subordinate as his deputy in the league’s structure.

But the party’s leadership said it would not entertain such a perception.

“You should further know I was part of the previous parliament and maybe the leadership took into cognisance my experience with parliament issues and duties and ended up nominating me,” the Okavango MP further said, adding that the appointment was a boost to his political career as it shows the trust and faith his party leadership has in him.

Filling the void left by the party’s President Dumelang Saleshando, who lost parliamentary seat, Arone promised robust BCP debate in parliament alongside his minority party MPs.

“Myself and Keorapetse are both intellectuals and good debaters and we promise to be consistent or even more vocal in parliament with BCP principles and political views,” Arone said, adding that BCP’s minority in parliament has in the past been tested and stood the test of time.

“As a social democratic party, we stand firm on BCP’s policies and principles and we will not deviate from such noble foundations,” he said, and called on the public to take note as the party debates the recent State of the Nation address by President Ian Khama.

With the assistance of University of Botswana lecturers who have been the pillars and strength of the party for a long time under the Parliamentary Support Group, brain-storming questions, motions and making thorough research, Arone insisted they will not go wrong.

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