The Leader of the Opposition, Botsalo Ntuane, who is also the Deputy President of the Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD), has declared that even if the Umbrella project revives, his party will not give up any constituency where it currently has a sitting MP.
This comes in the wake of reports this week that the BMD was willing to make way to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) by sacrificing MPs Wynter Mmolotsi of Francistown South or Odirile Motlhale of South East South.
The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) is trying to revive the opposition cooperation talks and has already met with both the BMD and BCP leadership.
However, while the BCP ponders the Union’s proposal of fresh talks, the BMD maintains it will not give up any constituency where it currently has a sitting MP.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard, Ntuane said that his party will hold a special conference next week to map the way forward on opposition cooperation.
He said that the BMD was committed to the Umbrella project hence its letter to the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). Ntuane said that what is certain is that BMD will not budge when it comes to incumbency.
“The BMD is not giving up any single seat where it is currently incumbent,” said Ntuane. “If the BMD has to concede a seat then those who want our seat must also be prepared to concede their incumbency in some constituencies to the BMD,” he added.
The BMD wants incumbency to settle the allocation of constituencies while the BCP and BNF want the 2009 general elections to form part of the criterion in determining allocation.
The BMD leader did not hide the fact that his party’s working relationship with the BCP had broken down to a point of no repair.
“We have written a letter to only those who have shown a willingness to pursue the Umbrella,” he stated.
“We want the BCP to maintain its 5 seats, BMD its 6 and BNF to also maintain its 6,” Ntuane stressed.