Thursday, October 1, 2020

BNF Kanye North primaries postponed amid complaints

A decision to approach the courts to stop primary elections by some of the aggrieved Botswana National Front (BNF) parliamentary candidates for Kanye North primary elections has prompted the party to postpone the elections that were billed to take place on Sunday.

The aggrieved hopefuls had threatened to approach the courts if the party was to go ahead with the elections.

The party was under pressure on Friday when they postponed the elections pending a threat among parliamentary candidates who had engaged a lawyer who demanded that the elections should be postponed.

According to the party, the postponement was as a result of some of the aggrieved candidates who had raised complaints about the party move to bar them from standing for elections. The five aggrieved parliamentary candidates Thatayaone Masimakoko, Patson Motswagae, Jackson Pitso, Lame Disang and Neil Motlogelwa engaged Makgebenyane attorneys at the last hour to stop the planned primary elections this weekend.

The candidates threatened through their lawyer that they were going to approach the court to seek a court order to stop elections if the party failed to accede to their request to stop the elections.

According to their lawyer the five were surprised that they were barred from contesting despite fulfilling all the requirements for nominations of candidates who wanted to contest the primary elections.

They further argued through their lawyer that they met the requirements after the chairperson of the national elections Board and the party secretary general issued a writ to Kanye North Constituency where the nominations for candidacy were to be received May 11 to May 25.

The aggrieved candidates indicated that they complied with all the requirements where they paid a sum of P1500 which were submitted to the constituency elections committee as required where they were later issued with receipt as a proof of payment.

According to the aggrieved candidates  they were shocked to learn that the party National Elections Board took a decision not to allow them to contest after a meeting on May 4 last month.

The five argued in their letter demanding the party to reverse the decision not to allow them to contest the elections that the elections board meeting was not fair as it never afforded them an opportunity to know why such decisions was taken.

According to their lawyer his clients could have been called and informed as to why they could not stand for elections that was billed for this weekend.

This decision according to them was not fair as it never afforded them an opportunity on why they were barred from contesting the elections.

The aggrieved candidates also indicated that they were disappointed that the decision to disqualify them was taken against the party central committee recent decision to disqualify them without affording the candidates a hearing.

The candidates argued through a letter dispatched to the party at the last hour that the decision that was taken on behalf of the National Elections Board was grossly unlawful in the face of resolution taken by the central committee.

In a letter delivered at the last minute at the party headquarters through their lawyer the five demanded that the party should reverse the decision that could put the party in jeopardy as they were intending to approach the court on urgency to interdict the primary elections in Kanye North pending a review application.

However the BNF,Party Secretary General , Moeti Mohwasa downplayed the effect of the five aggrieved candidates who   threatened to stop the primary elections through a court order.

According to Mohwasa the postponement was necessitated by a complaint that was launched by some candidates who were disqualified from the contesting the elections .

 Mohwasa indicated that as a norm if there is such a complaint the members are afforded the opportunity for a hearing before the National Elections Board.

According to the party secretary general a new date for primary elections will be set after the aggrieved candidates appear before the board.

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