Opposition Botswana National Front will on Friday close applications for aspiring candidates wishing to represent the Letlhakeng West constituency.
The constituency fell vacant following the passing away of the area Member of Parliament, Maxwell Motowane, who was also an assistant minister.
“We have issued a writ and the primaries for the constituency will be on February 9th,” confirmed BNF publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa. “We expect names of the interested parties to reach our office this Friday.”
The BNF’s stranglehold on Letlhakeng West constituency fell into the hands of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party by a small margin of 34 votes during the previous national elections. The BNF hopes to regain the seat and add to their dwindling number in parliament due to defections.
Currently, BNF and its partners are deadlocked over the nomination of the Leader of Opposition in the House as they share an equal number of seats with the opposition Botswana Congress Party.
The Speaker of the House has since declared the seat vacant, owing to the impasse.
Former Letlhakeng West MP, Filbert Nagafela, is expected to contest the constituency, buoyed by his experience as the ex-legislator. Nagafela lost the seat to the BDP by a slim margin.
For their part, the BCP Publicity Secretary, Taolo Lucas, indicated their party was still weighing the options and have since sent a delegation to evaluate the constituency.
“We are still looking forward to their response upon which we will make a decision on the matter,” Lucas said.
With the by-elections still a distance away, the ruling BDP has not made big efforts in the constituency, perhaps concentrating on the looming council by-elections in Tswapong.
“The by-election is still far away. We have not done anything at the moment. Check me after two weeks,” was all Thabo Masalila, the BDP publicity secretary, could offer.
Those tipped to contest for the constituency include Letlhakeng sub-district council chairperson, Tshoganetso Leuwe, alongside former area MP Boometswe Mokgothu.
He was ejected from the constituency by Nagafela during the 2004 national elections.
The by-election is seen as the litmus test for the ruling party and the opposition BNF whose alliance with the Botswana Movement for Democracy and Botswana Peoples Party is still in doubt.