Tuesday, January 19, 2021

BCP wants Election Day declared Public Holiday

The Botswana Congress Party says they would like Government to declare Election Day a public holiday so as to give everybody a chance to go to the polls.

This call comes after the BCP executive Committee had increased a number of constituencies to the party’s election list category 1.

Under the BCP’s internal priority list system, category 1 comprises of those constituencies that the party fancies it has an above average chance of winning or retaining in the next General Elections due in October.
The BCP’s category 1 now has 21 constituencies.

In an interview with Sunday Standard, the BCP Secretary General Taolo Lucas said as part of the party’s election strategy, category 1 is made up those constituencies the party must win in the coming election.

He said such targeting was informed by the performance of the BCP or BAM/BCP in the last General Elections held in 2004.

Lucas also said as part of the party and its cooperating partners’ strategy, the category 1 constituencies were made to hold their primaries much earlier than the rest of the others.

“The same targeted constituencies get a better share of our limited resources over the campaign period,” said Lucas.
He said as an outcome of continuous monitoring, Kweneng South East and Tswapong South constituencies – both initially in the category 2 have recently between elevated to the top category by the party executive.
“The two constituencies have shown improvement in membership registration, campaign activities and the building of active party structures.”

He said the party executive would continue monitoring the situation and performance of the constituencies with a view to “making adjustments in terms of prioritization.”

While Lucas is happy that the BCP has been able to attract high quality women candidates to contest parliamentary seats, he says there is still room for employment when it comes to women empowerment.

“The BCP is currently evolving a special campaign programme whose details will be revealed in due course for its women candidates in recognition of the need to empower women politically and to ensure that women are represented at the top echelons of decision making,” said Lucas.

The four women candidates contesting under the BCP banner are Motsei Rapelana (Gaborone North), Annah Motlhagodi (Gaborone West North), Joyce Mothudi (Kweneng South East) and Dr. Hobona (Tonota North).

While commending the Independent Electoral Commission for their steadfast determination in increasing the number of registered voters, Lucas says the government should meet the IEC half way by way of declaring the Election Day a public holiday.

“We wish to further implore the Government to declare Election Day a holiday so that those who are registered to vote can actually vote on Election Day. A situation where some people are not released from work on Election Day does not augur well for popular participation of people in decision making in a democratic set-up,” said Lucas.

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