After years and months of serious campaign, The Botswana Congress Party seems to be assuming the rise as the official opposition party in Botswana.
From year to year, the Botswana National Front has been the biggest.
The BNF, however, has since had internal fights and misunderstandings, which led to the party breaking up to form other smaller parties, which is one of the reasons why the party is dying a slow death.
Parties like PUSO and National Democratic Front (NDF) are among the parties that were born from BNF. The BCP was formed in 1998 at the Palapye Congress mainly “for philosophical, ideological, and leadership reasons”, notes Tebogo Taylor Mogotsi, a member of the BCP.
He states that there were disagreements about the leadership of the party and that there were factions in BNF which led to the party splitting.
BNF, which has been the official opposition, had previously held twelve seats in parliament which now have been taken over by the BDP with some going to the BCP.
Constituencies like Letlhakeng West were once BNF territory. Coming from one parliamentary seat, the BCP was getting more and more parliamentary and council or ward seats as results started trickling in.
BCP has taken over two parliamentary seats from the BDP in Chobe and Selebi Phikwe West constituencies. The party also managed to secure fifty two wards, managing to get four council seats in Gaborone Central, one which was formerly for BDP, which is the Government ward.
“There are now about 200 000 plus BCP members and we can proudly say it is the fastest growing political party right now,” he said.
Mogotsi went on to say that the party is mainly dominated by the youth because liberal policies are ideal to the youth and they can only get them from the BCP.
“Issues like youth empowerment schemes, free education to university, no tax for education materials, some aspects of proportional representation, liberal democracy are among the issues of concern at BCP and all these appeal to the youth,” Mogotsi added.
Mogotsi noted that though they haven’t won the elections it is clear from the election results that they are second after BDP noting that in almost all the constituencies that BCP did not win, they were second to the party that won.
“This year’s elections are a good determinant of BCP’s growth looking at the results. We either won or came second in the results of the constituencies that we contested,” he said.