Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) has written a position paper to the mother body demanding that the party advocates for open contest during the opposition talks with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The youth movement led by its President Tumiso Rakgare is of the view that any member of any opposition party under the Umbrella model should be allowed to contest anywhere they may so wish.
The BCP youth want respect for incumbency scrapped off.
Furthermore the BCP youth has also demanded that there be an open contest for any leadership position within the UDC.
“We want an open contest at ward level, constituency level and for leadership positions. For us it is important who becomes the leader for the coalition to 2019. We believe that there are capable people within all opposition parties forming the coalition,” said Rakgare.
Rakgare said incumbency will hinder the voters to elect a representative of their choice.
“Every member of any political party should be given an opportunity to contest wherever they wish to contest. Let’s have elections and that is what we call progressive democracy,” said Rakgare.
The BCPYL said as the party they had expected that by now the opposition talks would have been started.
“It is the end of July and there is nothing yet,” said Rakgare.
The BCP youth league is worried because 2019 general elections is just around the corner.
“We have approached the leadership of Botswana Congress Party and we aired our views on the delay of the cooperation talks. It is an open secret that Botswana Movement For democracy is currently battling its internal wars which might be one of the reasons causing the delay,” said Rakgare.
“We say opposition cooperation talks are a national project and we believe that the leadership in the name of Dumelang Saleshando and Duma Boko should take the lead and start the talks.”
Rakgare said opposition cannot find itself in a situation whereby they wait for BMD to deal with its internal debacle when they are not even sure when the situation will be normalised.
“We are not even sure when they will resolve their differences. If it was possible we would urge our leadership to intervene in BMD issues but at the same time BMD have asked to be given time to deal with its internal differences,” said Rakgare.
He further observed that this is not the right time to be waiting for another party resolving its internal differences.
“We need to start the talks.”
The youth league could not hide its frustrations.
“We are frustrated as the BCP youth in the way things are happening because in November 2015 the mother body wrote to UDC to say we are ready to start the talks, its 2016, almost a year now but there is no progress,” said Rakgare.