Attorney Bernard Bolele emerged victorious in the Botswana Democratic Party’s Mahalapye West constituency primary election held over the past weekend.
This was after he contested for a seat that was vacated by the former MP and Vice President, Mompati Merafhe, who retired on July 31 this year after holding the seat for 18 years.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Bolele expressed gratitude to the entire membership of the BDP in Mahalapye West.
As is usual in Botswana, primary elections are known to divide voters and members of the same party because they are to vote one leader from the same party.
“It was in the interest of the BDP to settle the occupation of the vacant seat of Mahalapye West by voting. Those who did not win and those who won are all party members. It is not in the party’s interest that we accept whatever results that come and then unite in support of each other for the sake of the party. I will also do all in my ability to bring together party members and unite them together as one family,” said Bolele.
He admitted that not all the people on the voters roll voted but, however, said that they are all party members, those who voted and those who did not vote. He said all should rally behind the party to have a common understanding so as to achieve a common goal.
Asked how he will handle the challenge of replacing a senior and renowned politician like Merafhe, Bolele said it is in everyone who stood up as a candidate to replace the former Vice President and to accept the challenge that follows.
“We all had the responsibility and opportunity to be accepted as his successor and as a member of the party, and once given the responsibility, I will make sure that I work hard for the interest of the people and the party,” he said.
Bolele won with 1787 votes, followed by Moatshe Senai with 1024. The other candidates were Joseph Molefe 724, Mahalapye South councillor, Tassman Cebani 326 and Maokisa Motsetse who got 47 votes.
It is still to be seen whether Bolele is going to defend the seat which has, for years, been dominated by BDP at the parliament.
The date for the by elections for this parliamentary position is still yet to be announced by the President.┬á┬á