Wednesday, November 25, 2020

BDP introducing reforms to stem the opposition popular wave

Botswana Democratic Party is worried by the fast moving pace of events at the opposition ranks.

Most worrying is the possibility that Botswana Congress Party is on the verge of joining other opposition parties in the Umbrella for Democratic Change.

A BDP insider well conversant with the party strategy says the ruling party has hatched a plan to destabilize the BCP so that there is disunity over plans to join UDC.

The Telegraph can confirm that at its Central Committee meeting on Monday, the BDP agreed to introduce a suite of reforms.

These include electoral reforms that if approved would see Botswana introduce a hybrid electoral system combining First-Past-the-Post and Proportional Representation.

The Central Committee has agreed to enlist the services of Professor Mpho Molomo to guide them on what reforms to implement to save their party.

If Molomo agrees, he is expected to be a political descendant of the late Lawrence Schlemmer, a South African professor  who in the 1990s was called in to rescue the BDP.

Among other things Professor Schlemmer recommended the retirement of then President, Sir Ketumile Masire.

The BDP went on to introduce changes that included reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 years.

Under the new BDP agenda, Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane has been given powers to drive the needed changes.

Ntuane came into office on a reform-minded agenda.

There has been growing evidence of public disenchantment with the BDP. This is in direct contrast to a growing wave of public enthusiasm for the opposition UDC. A BCP senior leader confirmed to The Telegraph that they have picked information that the BDP is intent on destabilizing the BCP beyond the recent revelations of clandestine meetings between Ntuane and BCP activists.

Some of those activists later defected to the BDP.

“We are aware of the BDP plans. That is why it is important for us as a party to move swiftly into the UDC,” said the BCP activist on condition of anonymity.

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The Telegraph November 25

Digital edition of The Telegraph, November 25, 2020.