Minister of Defence Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Ndelu Ramadeluka Seretse, has accepted the outcome of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries for the Serowe North East constituency.
Seretse lost by a margin of 2.602 votes to his political rival, Kgotla Autlwetse, who polled 4,084 votes against Seretse’s 1,478.
“I am not going to break a bone over the outcome…whoever spoke has spoken and as they say the voice of the majority carries the day in a democracy…,” Seretse told The Telegraph this week.
Seretse says he was happy with the outcome of the elections and applauded the party’s election officials and returning officer for a sterling job.
The election officials were firm and resolute.
He said that although he had lost the parliamentary bid, this did not mark the end of his political career.
Seretse believes his campaign strategy for re-election was good but only that Autlwetse’s tact was because he emerged victorious.
Seretse was elected as the area MP 10 years ago defeating Autlwetse in an election brawl that ended at the High Court.
Their second encounter was in 2008 and this time Seretse won the constituency without a hustle.
“You cannot determine my political future on the occurrence of one incident…Accordingly what the results mean is that I will not represent the party in the up -coming general elections next year…” he said.
“To say its the end of my political career would be foolhardy…you can still participate in politics through a number of ways,” he added.
Asked about his presidential ambitions, Seretse said, “ambitions are just ambitions. Afterall for one to be a vice president he has to be chosen by the sitting president, so even if I had ambitions, it was still up to the president to elect me if he so wishes.”
Seretse said that he is satisfied that he served his country well. “I served my country well. The people are the ones who evaluate one’s service. The people must judge you. I cannot be my own judge but the people have never complained of my service as a minister,” he said.
Seretse said he would remain a minister until the 2014 general elections when Parliament resumes. Asked whether he would accept to be a Specially Elected MP should President Khama elect him, he said, “Let’s wait for that time.”
┬áMeanwhile the man who trounced Seretse has altogether declined to speak to the media about his election victory.
Autlwetse and his supporters celebrated in style after the results were announced.
He was winched up by a jubilant mob of his supporters who sang praise songs.
Meanwhile Seretse was too coy to congratulate the election winner publicly for fear of being attacked by the uncontrollable crowd that had voted him.
By the time the final results were announced Seretse sat secluded in his vehicle some few metres away from the Swaneng Hill hall where Autlwetse victory elation and praise songs were picking momentum on Sunday morning.
If the BDP wins next year’s general elections Seretse can only make it to parliament through President Ian Khama’s prerogative of nominating specially elected members of parliament.
Interestingly, all the councillors who were subjected to another re-run even though their results were pronounced and accepted by losers won with a huge margin. All the councillors had defected to Autlwetse after they won the first elections.