Wednesday, September 23, 2020

BDP’s attempts to muzzle MPs have to be resisted

There is a disturbing trend inside the ruling party to want to muzzle dissenting voices.
The unfolding pattern also points to a cabinet intent on centralizing their power and rendering parliament absolutely docile.

As we report elsewhere three members of parliament will be dragged before a select Central Committee to answer propped up charges of indiscipline.

It would appear like the BDP’s official line is to build a dossier against these three MPs so as to use such a dossier against them in the forthcoming primary elections.

There was universal celebration when, a few years ago, at the instance and goading of President Mogae, the ruling party opened its primary elections to a popular vote.
Before then, primary elections inside the ruling party were nothing more than a gimmick; a pretentious apology nowhere near a democracy.

But “Bulela Ditswe” as the new system is called, though risky and opening the party to all sorts of disruptions, came across as an inherently democratic process that sort to give power, a say and voice to ordinary members who are supposed to be BDP members.
Unfortunately and still under Mogae, the ruling party seems to be recoiling from democracy and regretting it ever opened up to ordinary members to choose who would represent them.

Nothing better illustrates that than the recent series of presidential tantrums.
It seems like there is a desire that, as a principle, BDP backbenches should support the cabinet on every front, even against their own conscience.

We urge President Mogae to hold on to the virtue that over the years has come to epitomize his temperament; that of tolerance, and not to allow the stress and fatigue of office to get the better of him.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.