Mmegi Online :: BCP seeks cooperation with UDC
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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BCP seeks cooperation with UDC

PALAPYE: The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Leadership Forum has recommended cooperation with the main opposition party, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
By Ryder Gabathuse Thu 20 Nov 2014, 11:22 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BCP seeks cooperation with UDC








After its meeting last Saturday, the forum said the BCP should cooperate with UDC. “Upon completing its election evaluation exercise, the party will engage the UDC and other opposition formations with a view to explore appropriate models of cooperation to unseat the BDP,” reads a statement authored by BCP information and publicity secretary, Taolo Lucas.

The BCP recommendation comes at a time when the public has been calling for the party to join the UDC and solidify the opposition bloc in its bid to unseat the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the 2019 general elections. The BDP has been winning elections since independence and the opposition think only a united front can stem the tide. The BCP Leadership Forum met in Palapye to evaluate the results of the 2014 general election. The BCP leaders went to Palapye a worried lot after a poor performance in the October 24 general elections. There was therefore an urge to identify what ought to be done to improve performance and ultimately take over government.

Out of 57 elected MPs, the BCP garnered only three out of their target of 29 while UDC, a new comer into Botswana politics got 17 seats leaving the BDP with a majority of 37. Despite its win, the ruling party’s popular vote dropped to 46.7 percent.

The closed door BCP Leadership Forum meeting which was attended by party leaders

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from across the 57 constituencies reiterated that the party’s long standing commitment to opposition cooperation. It said that its desire for merger with other parties remains unchanged.

The forum recommended a comprehensive evaluation of performance in the general elections and mapping the way forward. The party leadership will also embark on a nationwide tour to appreciate the challenges that it encountered in the general elections.

Most importantly, the forum recommended an audit of the party structures and membership with immediate effect. It noted that the resource disparities between the ruling party and the opposition create an uneven playing field in an election. The forum called for state funding of political parties.

“It was also the view of the leadership forum that the abuse and dominance of the state media during the elections is a matter of serious concern and a blemish on our democracy,” Lucas said.

The forum observed that the party campaign was characterised by unprecedented levels of misinformation and distortions about the BCP and its president by opponents.

On the positive side, the forum was encouraged by the positive campaign message that the BCP espoused throughout the election period.

The party was formed in 1998 after the Botswana National Front (BNF) split. The BCP gathers solace from the fact that it has a presence throughout the country and in some areas, it remains the only credible challenger to the BDP.

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