Amid the preparations by opposition parties to unite and form an umbrella party before the 2014 general elections, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President, Dumelang Saleshando, over the weekend told a BCP Annual National Congress in Francistown that it is now upon the opposition parties to make sure that they topple the BDP ruling party from power as they are now more united than ever before.
Saleshando said that the combined effort of the opposition parties has even instilled fear in the ruling BDP.
“The combined efforts of the opposition parties in Parliament have made the legislature a very uncomfortable area for the BDP because they know that they will be challenged by the opposition for every decision they make,” he said.
He said that the opposition parties as a collective have taken control over the local authorities that were previously under the control of the BDP.
Saleshando went on to stress that the days of a disorganized and fragmented opposition are over and it is now the BDP that has taken the robes of disunity and disorganization. He said that one of the most important strategies for the opposition, to win its war against the ruling party, is to maintain focus.
“The BDP is now experiencing its first ever split since the party was formed in 1950,” he said.
He said that the acrimonious relationship between the BNF and BCP, which has been the stumbling block on opposition cooperation, is promising to improve.
“I have been assured by the Chairman that negotiations are progressing smoothly and there is no tension between our negotiating team and the BNF or any other party,” he assured members.
Saleshando told the party members that it is a milestone that the opposition parties negotiating teams have made key arrangements of which a model of cooperation was agreed upon. He reminded the members that an umbrella party will be formed and the four parties, BCP, BMD, BNF and the BPP will affiliate to it.
Saleshando also said to the members that the parties will continue to exist as separate entities but enjoy the common membership of the umbrella party.