The Botswana Movement for Democracy has postponed their inaugural congress for the second time.
The postponement to April has raised fresh doubts about the stability of the BMD.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Interim Vice Chairman, Botsalo Ntuane, stated that going ahead with the Congress, which was scheduled for the past weekend, would have left out many constituencies.
He said of the 57 constituencies only 35 had completed the delegate’s selection process.
Ntuane said some BMD constituencies have requested for the postponement after realizing that the commencement of the congress falls on a working day. He stated that problems such as inability to get leave from work and approval to travel are factors that could hamper their full participation at the congress.
Ntuane conceded that it was an “oversight” that BMD had elected to hold its Congress starting mid-week.
“Not even the BDP, which does not have a problem getting its members released from work to attend its congress, holds its Congress on week days,” said Ntuane.
“We encourage each and every BMD member to show interest in the elections and everyone is entitled to stand for any position,” said Ntuane.
A failure by BMD to hold its congress will come as music to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, from which BMD was sired.
BDP has repeatedly expressed doubt about BMD’s viability, saying many of the party’s leadership had no vision other than to get power for themselves.
He said the other 22 constituencies should also be allowed time to undertake the selection of delegates so as to ensure a representative congress drawing delegates from across the country.
Ntuane stated that the postponement is meant to accommodate those constituencies still lagging behind but have indicated that they are in the process of fulfilling the requirement for participation at the congress.
“The Executive Committee reminds members to go about their campaigns with good conduct, respect for one another and exemplary decorum,” said Ntuane.
According to Ntuane, major decisions are to be taken at the congress and he urged party members to proceed with their campaigns.
BMD positions include the Leader of the party, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Deputy Treasure, Deputy Secretary General, National organizing Secretary and Director of policy. Currently, BMD is the leading opposition party with six members of parliament.
BMD Interim Coordinator-National Mobilization Kabo Morwaeng said there are 27 positions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of BMD which should all be filled during elections. He stated that there is no need for lobby lists. He also echoed Ntuane’s words that more time is needed to afford aspirants the opportunity to lobby and campaign for position of choice.