The Botswana National Front is at the centre of a controversial love triangle and has to choose a suitable partner between the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
In an effort to revive opposition cooperation, the BMD has become the BNF’s latest suitor following similar overtures from the BCP.
The BMD has made a formal request for a meeting with the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) in fresh cooperation talks that exclude the BCP.
The request for a meeting sent to the BNF has been confirmed by Lobatse MP and BMD’s negotiations team leader, Nehemiah Modubule.
“You do appreciate that the talks have collapsed but have not died,” Modubule says, adding that his party does not think there are sufficient reasons to justify abandoning the whole project.
He stated that BMD’s objective was to see the Umbrella party standing for elections come 2014.
“I don’t think 5 constituencies can collapse the whole programme affecting 57 constituencies,” he said.
Modubule has criticized the Pact-model which has been suggested by some as an alternative following the collapse of the talks. He says that the Pact system is divisive and is also unpopular for voter splitting.
Modubule explained that his party is in unison with the BPP as two parties had decided to engage the BNF to persuade it to return to the negotiations table.
“We are pursuing them to reason with them; we have started by engaging the BNF. After that, we have to engage the BCP to see if we can’t reach a common ground,” Modubule said, adding that they could not agree with the BNF on the constituencies of Molepolole North and Ngwaketsi South.
On the other hand, their differences with the BCP were on who should get the Francistown West, Gaborone West North and South East South.
“We have only proposed a meeting. We still believe the Umbrella model can work,” maintains Modubule.
It is understood that the collapse of the umbrella talks was a result of the bad blood between the BCP and BMD while the BNF was seen to have risen above the row. The decision by BMD to court the BNF for a partnership follows in the wake of an attempt by the BCP to rope in the BNF in an election pact.