The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chair for the publicity committee, Lesang Magang, has dismissed as untrue reports that his party will not be holding primary elections as preparations for the 2014 general elections get underway.
Information passed to the Sunday Standard is that the BDP’s parliamentary caucus has indorsed a suggestion to stay primaries.
Party insiders indicate that the issue is expected to be tabled before the party’s National Council next year in March.
The BDP faces a major challenge from the opposition’s proposed Umbrella project.
The Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) are currently in negotiations with a view to participate in the 2014 general elections as one party.
The BDP maintains primaries will be held countrywide.
“The position is that out of the 57 constituencies, we should have primaries in all constituencies,” said Magang.
He said that he was aware that some MPs had made suggestions for the party not to hold primaries in opposition held constituencies.
He said that this, however, is not the party position but emerged as views held by a handful of members who were at the caucus.
He said that the expectation is that some constituencies such as Gaborone West South, Gaborone Central, South East South and Francistown South will register less candidates for the primaries.
He said by default some of the candidates might stand unopposed. Magang said that this would not mean that the party has not held primaries.
“People come up with various positions or suggestions but the BDP has agreed it will hold primaries in all constituencies,” said Magang.
Magang stressed that the party was looking forward to oust the opposition from its strongholds.
He said that, as such, primaries will commence early next year in opposition held constituencies. He said after that, the ruling party will hold a last batch of primaries in its constituencies.