Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BPF proposal to UDC throws a cat amongst the pigeons

When negotiations for how the Umbrella for Democratic Change partners should contract their 2024 electoral business starts in earnest, the Botswana Patriotic Front will make a proposal that some partners might raise eyebrows at. Within a five –page proposal put together by a “Stream”, the party has developed an 11-point criteria for how constituencies and wards should be apportioned among the three member parties: the Botswana National Front, Botswana People’s Party and the BPF itself. Officially, the Botswana Congress Party is still a UDC member but the party has announced that it is leaving an opposition collective that was cobbled together in 2014.

Under “inclusivity”, BPF proposes that “no UDC partner will have zero representation/chance of representing UDC at local government and national levels.” This proposal is clearly meant to ensure that the partners are treated equally but from a practical standpoint, is hugely problematic with regard to BPP. For a long time now, the party has not had representation in parliament and only minimal representation in local government in the north. That means that BPP has been consistently rejected by voters. If, for the sake of equity, the party is allowed to field a parliamentary candidate, such candidate may, in keeping with the pattern, also perform poorly.

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