Mmegi Online :: BCP VP proposition stirs up hornetsí nest
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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BCP VP proposition stirs up hornetsí nest

FRANCISTOWN: Some members of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) reportedly want the vice presidency of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to be contested by the contracting partners within the coalition.
By Chakalisa Dube Sun 11 Feb 2018, 12:06 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BCP VP proposition stirs up hornetsí nest








This is with exception of the Botswana National Front (BNF). 

BNF president, Duma Boko is also the president of the UDC. BCP spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse refused to divulge more details on the matter.

However, various insiders confirmed that some members have recommended that the UDC vice presidency (VP) should be contested for by the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) as well as the BCP. 

“The understanding is that the presidency of the UDC is secured. There has always been a debate surrounding the position of VP in the UDC. Some BCP members have often opposed the idea of having two positions of VP,” said a BCP insider this week.

He added: “The idea of some of the BCP is that the constitution of the coalition should be reviewed and a democratic process be used to elect a single VP”.

The BCP members recommended that the two VP positions should be scrapped off during a party leadership forum held in Palapye last weekend. After recommendations that the two VP positions should be scrapped some BCP members reportedly recommended that other UDC partners should contest the position of VP apart from the BNF.

Insiders did not share much detail on the two proposals as members have been asked to consult further before they submit them to the party secretariat.

BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando said that some members within the party want the UDC constitution to be revamped so that it caters for a single vice president in order for it to conform to the constitution of the country.

“They also believe that our opponents are likely to use our current party constitution against us.”

“Because we have two vice presidents they think our opponents are likely to portray us (in the eyes of the voters) as power-hungry people who want to create more positions once in power in order to accommodate some of our cronies,” Saleshando told Mmegi sister publication The Monitor this week although he was not elaborate at the time.

The BCP has asked members to

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refine their proposed constitutional changes and submit them to the party secretariat before February 15. The proposals will be tabled at the UDC constitutional congress later this month.

The opposition coalition currently has two vice presidents being Saleshando of the BCP and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) president, Sidney Pilane.

Meanwhile, another key figure within the UDC has suggested that the move by some BCP members to push for a single VP in the UDC is likely to cause ill feelings within the coalition, especially on the part of the BMD. 

“The position of vice president of the UDC was originally given to the BMD. The BCP later proposed that there be two VPs. Based on the reasons they (BCP) advanced the negotiating teams took a decision to have two VPs in the coalition.”

“There is likelihood that the UDC might counter the BCP and suggest that they should forfeit the other VP position because it was initially not given to them.  Should there be varying positions between the two parties it may result in acrimony within the coalition,” a UDC source said.

The insider said that the BCP was given the other position of VP to convince sceptics that they have been welcomed into the coalition.

BCP spokesperson, Keorapetse told Mmegi that all the recommendations made at the BCP leadership forum are purely internal and ‘cannot be shared with the media’. 

Before the UDC settled for two vice presidents it was initially suggested that they (BCP) be given the position of secretary general in the coalition.

In addition, at one point there was a debate as to who occupies the main VP position between the BCP and BMD. There were strong suggestions that the BMD occupies the upper VP position but the UDC later said the two positions are equal.

It remains to be seen if the other UDC members will welcome the BCP idea of having a single VP.  The coalition has maintained that it is shifting focus on consolidating itself for the general elections.

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