The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has yet to resolve the disputed Boteti East Bulela Ditswe primary elections. Counting for the elections was halted following irregularities in the ballot papers for two of the constituency’s nine wards. The incumbent Member of Parliament for the constituency Setlhomo Lelatisitswe was leading the count by almost 200 from the counted seven wards.
According to reports, irregularities were discovered during the counting for Letlhakane South before the news reached Letlhakane East where consequent protests led to the cancelation, resulting in both wards failing to release results.
While all indications are that there shall be recounting in the two constituencies one of the candidates is said to have raised a concern about yet another ward.
Lelatisitswe is however adamant that there are only two wards in dispute saying he is waiting for the board to decide on the new date for elections for the two wards. “This is nothing new to me,” the MP told Sunday Standard. “Back in 2013 a re-run was ordered for our primary elections even though there had been no protests.”
At the time of going to press the BDP Electoral Board Chairman Peter Siele had said they had dispatched a delegation to the constituency to investigate the matter.
“We expect to get a full report on the matter by Monday (September 17) after which we shall make a determination as to what decisions to take,” Siele told Sunday Standard on Friday.
He said the delegation were to meet with the Central Region committee on Friday before meeting with the parliamentary and council candidates in Letlhakane on Saturday September 15 (yesterday) to discuss the matter. Lelatisitswe contested against Oboetswe Babotlale, Kenanao Michael Mmopi, and Lillian Thanke.
The Boteti East case follows that of Lentsweletau/Mmopane constituency which eventually saw Minister and incumbent MP Vincent Seretse losing to Nnaniki Makwinja following a disputed primary election in which the initial results had given Seretse the victory. His loss added to the unprecedented number of cabinet ministers who lost in the recent Bulela Ditswe. Giving a keynote address at the 15th National Business Conference (NBC) in Francistown this past week President Mokgweetsi Masisi expressed his disappointment at the loss of his key ministers saying he was “mourning with some of my Cabinet colleagues who have lost in the party’s Bulela Ditswe primary elections.”