Saturday, December 3, 2022

Khama throws Mahalapye West BDP primaries into a deeper limbo

President Ian Khama has ordered the Electoral Board of the Botswana Democratic Party to give everybody a proper hearing in protests of the primary elections for Mahalapye West constituency. In a bizarre turn of events, the BDP Central Committee at the instance of Electoral Board recently ordered a re-run of Council and Parliamentary elections solely on account of listening to those people that had lost. Winners were neither notified nor ordered to appear at the hearings that informed the Electoral Board’s decisions.

When the abnormally was brought to President Khama’s attention this week, he immediately overruled the initial decision and ordered that procedures be followed. Sunday Standard is in possession of letters to that effect. Khama’s executive order highlights how seriously the President is beginning to view the potential of possible fallout from both the primaries and also the protests that emanated from those primaries and also the impact that they might have on the party’s campaign efforts towards elections including the party’s fortunes.

Already there is a growing number of BDP members that are weighing their options following what they say were badly organized primary elections and protest rules that were applied and implemented unevenly. There have been complaints that the former Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West, Lt.
General Mompati Merafhe was still meddling in the affairs of the constituency, especially by supporting his prot├®g├®, Joseph Molefe against incumbent Bernard Bolele.

While such allegations remain unsubstantiated observers say Merafhe who has also served as Vice President never forgave Bolele for challenging him in the part primaries that led t6o 2009 General Elections. The re-run in Mahalapye West was scheduled for March 1st. But depending on the outcome of Electoral Board protest hearings ordered by Khama there is now a possibility that the re-run could still be postponed or not be held at all. Incidentally the losing parliamentary candidate had himself not protested. In fact Molefe had conceded defeat including congratulating Bolele after the results of the primaries were announced.

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