Monday, September 28, 2020

Saleshando preaches opposition unity

Maun: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) incoming president, Dumelang Saleshando, is unfazed by suggestions that the newly formed Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) is a threat to his party.
He said this ahead of being elected BCP’s first ever youngest president unopposed.

“I would rather focus on the positives. If we focus on competing amongst ourselves as opposition, it’s a self-defeating exercise,” he said.┬á

“What I know is that the BMD is clear on political issues which were first raised by the BCP, such as erosion of civil liberties, and have also vindicated us that we are a nation at cross-roads. BMD is in fact repeating┬áour 2009 election manifesto. I take the view that BMD has significantly weakened BDP. We remain focused on removing BDP and BMD has assisted our cause. There is a general goodwill from the BMD on the possibility of cooperation,” Saleshando told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

He said his party has stood the test of time since its formation when they were referred to as spoilers when they formed a break away party from opposition Botswana National Front.

“We have been through a number of storms┬áand we have come out stronger,” he said.
Saleshando said the challenge facing his party is to come up with structures that are more aligned to the party and relevant to the prospective voter.

He said under his leadership there would be no major shift in BCP policy. “Ours [policy]┬áis a system┬ábased on social┬ádemocratic model whose key principles remain fair access to opportunities for all. A system based on┬ásocial justice, provision of protection┬áfor the most disadvantaged┬ámembers of society.

He said BCP will review the packaging of its message to its electorate.

“That will be encapsulated┬áin the review of the way we administer the party,” he said.
Under his leadership, Saleshando┬ásays, the BCP┬áwill provide alternative laws┬áand call for┬áelectoral reform – the┬áFreedom of Information Act for instance being one of them.┬á

“We should use our space in parliament to table a bill on public funding of political parties.

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