Saturday, November 26, 2022

Parties agree on convenor of opposition cooperation talks

Opposition parties have unanimously agreed for Lebang Mpokokwane to be the convenor of the opposition cooperation talks.

Mpokokwane will facilitate a discussion on opposition cooperation between the Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD).
This follows a meeting held on Monday at which various decisions were made.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard on Friday, BCP President Dumelang Saleshando stated that the parties have settled for Mpokokwane to convene the talks but the issue surrounding who will assist him had not been resolved.

“The process of choosing a deputy convenor is not yet complete,” said Saleshando.

The BCP leader also announced that the BNF, BCP and BMD have agreed to come up with a memorandum of understanding on bye-elections.

He said that the parties had decided to meet on the 14th of March to finalise and sign a memorandum of understanding to guide cooperation during by elections as well as to officially launch the talks.
Saleshando also disclosed that while the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) was not represented at the talks, the three opposition parties had all agreed for the party to be lured back.

He said that BMD interim chair, Gomolemo Motswaledi, has been tasked with the responsibility of courting the BPP to join the talks before they officially resume.

Nevertheless, the parties have made room for the BPP to join the talks at a later stage if it does not manage to come on board by the 14th of March when the talks commence.

The parties have each agreed to provide a negotiating team composed of five individuals who shall be assisted by at least two alternates for each party.

Saleshando further stated that the parties had agreed to come up with some terms of reference which, among others, includes for the whole process to be complete before the end of the year.
“On the 14th of March there shall be a signing of agreement on cooperation on by-election and the same will coincide with the official launching of the talks,” said Saleshando.

At this week’s meeting the BNF was represented by its President Duma Boko, General Secretary Akanyang Magama; Dumelang Saleshando and Motsei Rapelana represented the BCP while Gomolemo Motswaledi and Odirile Motlhale attended the meeting on behalf of BMD.

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