Sunday, September 20, 2020

Inside UDC-BCP MoU by election

The MoU that was signed by UDC President Duma Boko and BCP President Dumelang Saleshando states that the two parties are desirous of building a stronger foundation as opposition parties in all future by elections. 

 

The MoU says that that such a mutual arrangement is needed to enable us to work together to preserve and protect our struggle for genuine democracy, economic independence, social justice, human rights and peace. 

 

It states that the spirit and purpose of this agreement is to ensure election gains, success and victory in any by election, each of the contracting parties enjoined both in the selection of candidates and the mounting of the campaigns, to uphold this spirit. 

 

According to the MoU, the continuing cooperation in by-election will strengthen their commitment to party-to-party relationships and work together increase the understanding of Batswana about social, economic and political problems confronting Botswana, they commit the two parties to the following; that between the years 2016next General Elections in 2019, where a by election (may it local or parliamentary) is to be held in Botswana the contracting parties shall not contest against each other. 

 

The two parties also agreed that the determination as to which of the contracting parties contests any by election shall be based on the following, in the order in which they appear hereunder; whether the contracting party had won the said vacant seat in the 2014 general election or any election subsquesnt to; whether the contracting party had attained 75 percent or more of the number of votes by the winning candidate in the vacant position who had represented a political party that is not a signatory to the agreement and where more than one of the contracting parties have obtained this threshold, the party with the highest number of votes shall contest on behalf of the contracting parties. 

 

When none of the above applies, the MoU states the determination shall be made by the By ÔÇôElection joint committee in terms of the by election agreement. 

 

The agreement also states that any party dissatisfied with the decision of the by elections Joint Committee shall within 14 hours of the delivery of the decision of of the By Election Joint Committee, lodge its appeal with the contracting parties Leaders Forum whose decision shall be final.

 

There shall therefore be the Contracting Parties Leaders Forum comprising the Presidents and Secretary Generals of the contracting parties, which shall regulate its own processes and procedures and be the final appeals body in relation to all matters regulated by the agreement. 

 

That without derogating from matters set out in this agreement, the MoU says that any of the Contracting Parties may in any constituency or ward where a by election is scheduled to be held and where they entitled to field a candidate for any by election, be at liberty to approach the other contracting parties for purposes of fielding its candidate(s) in any ward and or constituency as the case maybe. 

 

The MoU states that that there shall be the contracting parties By ÔÇôElection Joint Committee which shall be responsible for overseeing the implementation of this agreement including but not limited coordinating inter-party collaboration of the By-Election Joint Committee as determined by Contracting parties. 

 

The MoU also states that in the circumstances where none of the Contracting Parties had fielded candidates in the 2014 general elections, the parties By-Election Joint Committee shall have the right to decide which one amongst the Contracting Parties should contest. 

 

That the agreement shall come into force and be binding on the signatories from the date of the signature.

 

The MoU also says that in any of the by-elections which may take place between 2016 and the 2019 general elections, the parties shall strive to work in collaboration to engender mutual understanding and respect to fight the BDP and its social injustice and undertake to desist from any actions whatsoever which undermine the contents and the spirit of this Memorandum of understanding. 

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the Contracting Parties acknowledge, confirm and/or agree that the agreement is not and shall not be construed as laying the basis for future cooperation model between and amongst the Contracting Parties. 

 

To that end, the Contracting Parties collectively or individually reserve the right, should negotiations on opposition parties’ cooperation beyond the scope of this agreement (i.e. beyond by elections) commence, to suggest any mode and form of cooperation during such negotiations.

 

In the event of any agreement being reached by the Contracting Parties as regards opposition parties’ cooperation beyond by elections before the year 2019, such agreement shall take precedent over this MoU. 

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.