Vol.21 No.118

Wednesday 4 August 2004    

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Pact leaders call for unity

EPHRAIM KEORENG
8/4/2004 12:27:14 AM (GMT +2)

LEADERS of the tri-party opposition pact implored their followers to be united if the goal of unseating the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is to be achieved in the forthcoming general elections. The pact, which comprises the Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) and Botswana Peoples' Party (BPP), last weekend, launched its parliamentary and council candidates for the Francistown South constituency.


The event was spearheaded by the area parliamentary aspirant, Matlhomola Modise, who is also secretary general of BAM. He will be teaming up with a mixture of council candidates from the BNF, BPP and BAM.

Before the launch, members of the electoral pact from the BNF and BPP in the Francistown South constituency had queried the pact's decision to give the constituency to BAM. Their argument was that BAM had no significant following in Francistown South.

Veteran politician, Motsamai Mpho preached against wasting time on divisive issues instead of working together. He emphasised the importance of a strong united opposition to successfully realise the goal of replacing the BDP government.

"We can only defeat the ruling BDP if we are united, otherwise we can only dream," Mpho warned.

On assuming the podium, leader of BAM and retired diplomat, Ephraim Lepetu Setshwaelo reiterated the call for unity. He said that supporters should desist from in-fighting as this will spoil their chances of victory.

"Unity is strength. It has worked for Domkrag. They (BDP) have a powerful alliance with certain Indian businessmen, ranch owners and others. That is why the ruling party has been able to hold on to the reigns of power for all the past years. I, therefore urge you (BAM, BPP and BNF members) to form a strong bond," said Setshwaelo.

He dismissed the University of Botswana's Democracy Research Project (UBDRP) as a mere research body, which has no divine powers to see into the future. The UBDRP, recently released its findings which indicated that the BDP is going to win the elections again. Setshwaelo dismissed the findings of the UBDRP, which said the electoral pact will get a very low vote. He told pact members not to be cowed by the false message of doom. Instead they should take it as a challenge and work hard to win more votes.

"The BDP is old and tired and therefore needs to be relieved. The pact should prepare to unseat the BDP from the pinnacle of power," he said.

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