Sunday, September 20, 2020

UDC members become masters of blame game as election postmortem heats

Scores of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) took to social to blame their weekend loss during the Moshupa/Manyana by election on the ‘irrelevant’ Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

But the BMD shifted the blame to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) saying it was to blame for its loss as it used dirty tricks on the eve of elections.

Some members of the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) said the BMD was to blame for the loss as it has become irrelevant to voters.

BMD, Vice President Tlamelo Mmatli said there is need to bring laws that would deter the possibilities of the ruling party to use dirty tricks on the eve of elections.

Mmatli said that there is need to enact laws that will prohibit the ruling party from using state resources to mobilize voters ahead of elections.

He is of the view that Moshupa/Manyana by elections proved that indeed the ruling party was using its incumbency to garner support by using state resources.

Mmatli said that government programmes were used to sway votes in favour of the ruling party at the just ended by-election in Moshupa/Manayana. He said programmes aimed at attracting voters were rolled out to the area on the eve of elections.
But some of the contracting parties members have faulted the BMD for the loss at the just ended by-elections.

According to some of the contracting parties members said the dispute over which party should have nominated a candidate played a key role in the UDC’s loss as some members of the coalition did not cast votes in protest and sabotaged the BMP candidate.

A BNF candidate represented the UDC during the 2014 elections and there was a view that the candidate to represent the party in the recent by elections should be from the same party while BMD was resolute that the constituency belongs to it.

The Telegraph can reveal that some of the BNF and BCP were reported to have not turned up at the polling station as protest against the BMD candidate. 

The members of the contracting parties are of the view that the BMD which split was a liability to the UDC since most of the party members left following a disputed congress in Bobonong.

The split gave birth to the Alliance for Progressives which did not field a candidate in the just ended by election.

Political Scientist, Professor  Zibani Maundeni is of the view that any move to weaken the BMD will end up affecting the UDC performance in 2019 elections.

He indicated that the internal strife in UDC will give the ruling party a chance to win the elections.

“If opposition members weaken the BMD, the UDC will be the biggest loser. BDP will win constituencies that are currently held by BMD and this means that the bigger picture of winning elections will not be possible,” added Maundeni.

Maundeni indicated that if BCP and BNF start fighting the BMD that means that they are fighting the UDC project.

BMD Spokesperson Rasina Rasina did not want to be  drawn into discussing  the outcome of the weekend by election.

The ruling party candidate Karabo Gare emerged victorious as he garnered 4093 votes against Jonathan Sethono of UDC who was voted by 1530 people.

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