Preparations are said to be at an advanced stage for submitting the name of the new political party – Umbrella for Democratic Change – with its new party colours, symbol and leadership this week, says the Umbrella 2 convener, Lebang Mpotokwane.
Briefing the media recently on the official birth of the Umbrella for Democratic Change political party, he revealed that other suggested names of the new party will be submitted to the Registrar of Societies and added that plans to operate the umbrella party secretariat are on track.
He said this will make communication easier since umbrella parties were dealing with the media as individual parties before.
“From the recent Francistown meeting, we concluded that group members, as well as individuals, are welcome to take membership on this national project,” said Mpotokwane.
Furthermore, the convener revealed that September 08 this year is expected to be the official launch of the party as well as announcing the leadership of the party. He highlighted that the leadership forum is also scheduled for Francistown on August 4, together with two upcoming fundraising dinners.
“The three parties, BMD, BPP and BNF’s immediate role is to make the national project grow and to develop the brand. The aim is to promote the umbrella cooperation project as well as to generate positive energy around umbrella,” said Mpotokwane.
Botswana National Front (BNF) president, Duma Boko, said that the opposition believes that the umbrella is a viable model of cooperation that will be implemented in good faith, and will deliver a strong and effective joint opposition force that will also unseat the ruling party. He observed that the recent events in Botswana and the umbrella negotiator’s experiences from the talks show that there is space for a new, strong and effective party in the country that can take power through elections in 2014.
“Defections of individuals are okay to take place as we understand that some weak people who are not politically strong are mostly economically challenged and it is an ongoing thing,” said Boko.
Boko added that progress had also been made on the election of a common presidential candidate for the 2014 general elections. He stated that all participating parties and conveners presented their positions on the matter and added that the umbrella president will be elected through a popular vote.
“If all parties want to merge by dissolving their parties and forming one umbrella party, it will be a good merger and we want the best out of this and the unions are also in support,” he said.