Saturday, July 31, 2021

BPP demands three constituencies from UDC

The Botswana People’s Party (BPP) intends to submit a proposal requesting to be allocated more constituencies for the 2024 general elections.

Sunday Standard has established that BPP is demanding three constituencies; Lobatse, Mochudi West and Mmopane-Lentsweletau.

BPP President Motlatsi Molapisi confirmed that the party central committee will table a proposal before the UDC central committee requesting to be given more constituencies.

Molapisi said although the party has not identified the constituencies, they want to be allocated in addition to the ones they were given in 2019, they are planning to make inroads in the Southern part of the country.

“During the negotiations we will present our request because we have started to revive our structures across the country particularly in the South where people think we are weak”

“BPP had good structures in the olden days in the South and we felt that we need to revive them in order to make the party fashionable” said Molapisi.

In the lead up to the 2019 general elections, BPP was allocated Serowe North, Tati East, Tati West, Boteti East and Francistown West.

Molapisi indicated that the party recently opened an office in Gaborone as an indication to revive their fortunes.

“We opened the office with a clear intention and I must tell you that by the time we are asked to submit our proposal, we will include some of the Southern constituencies.”

“You will remember that in the past, BPP contested Tlokweng, Lobatse, Gantsi, Mmathethe-Molapowabojang and Mochudi, we even had a Member of Parliament from Mochudi,” added Molapisi.

He further said they have come up with a clear strategy to revive their structures, adding that party central committee is expected to meet soon.

“The central committee will soon meet and draw up a proposal in terms of the number of constituencies we want from the UDC and then those will be endorsed by the conference,” said Molapisi.

He said on the other it is highly likely that most contracting partners are bound to have their constituency share reduced given that there is an indication that some opposition parties will officially join the coalition before end of this year.

Molapisi highlighted that they will however not give away any of their constituencies to their contracting partners unless there is a form of exchange.

“We can only give away one of our constituencies if there is an exchange because you will remember that we were given fewer constituencies in 2019, so if we give them away, then that will amount to disempowering our members.”

“But in any case, the principle of incumbency within the UDC still exists, our target is to look into some of those we lost to the BDP in the 2019 general elections, they are quite many, I know for instance that although we contested the Serowe north constituency, it is in the hands of opposition, but we will see how we go around such issues” said Molapisi.

Earlier this year, local media reports indicated that AP, BPF and UDC had resumed talks.

At the time, BPF president, Biggie Butale confirmed that the parties have appointed three representatives to negotiate a model surrounding the talks. Reports also say the committee which represented the parties during by-election cooperation talks will facilitate the negotiations.

Meanwhile, AP Secretary General, Dr Phenyo Butale also confirmed that the talks have started.  “As opposition parties we have agreed that anything relating to opposition cooperation the person who answers all questions regarding the issue is Moeti Mohwasa. We do not want a situation whereby information comes from different people and at the end of the day it causes confusion on what is happening,” Dr Butale said in an interview.

On the other hand, UDC Spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa was also quoted confirming that talks have begun.                                                                               

Mohwasa confirmed the development. “It is true negotiations for 2024 general elections has started and each party has been given party position paper which they will consult and write their position on it. We cannot state when the negotiations will finish but our intention is to finish as quickly as possible,” he said.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper