Mmegi Online :: BCP, BNF might join forces for 2019 general elections
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Friday 16 November 2018, 11:44 am.
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BCP, BNF might join forces for 2019 general elections

BOBONONG: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) might unite with the Botswana National Front (BNF) at the 2019 general elections.
By Chakalisa Dube Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:21 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BCP, BNF might join forces for 2019 general elections








This comes after the BCP conference here endorsed the registration of the amendments to the revised Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constitution and resolved that if the problems within the UDC persist and impede progress within the coalition the BCP should engage in bilateral discussions with the BNF with a view to forging a working relationship.

BCP president Dumelang Saleshando told a media briefing after the conference on Monday that negotiations for a reconfigured opposition coalition with the BNF have to start forthwith while the problems within the UDC are being addressed.

The conference resolved that all problems within the UDC should be resolved by mid August.

Saleshando dropped a strong hint that the BCP might go to the next general elections with the BNF when officially opening a BCP conference in Bobonong on Sunday.

"If at all our differences in the UDC cannot be resolved we should not think of change when the BNF and BCP are not working together because they have strength in terms of numbers. We have to face reality. We are not undermining any party. The BCP and the BNF have a lot to lose if the UDC disbands because they have been fighting to unite opposition parties for years," Saleshando said at the official opening of the conference to the applause of many BCP diehards.

He added in his Sunday address:"The time to discuss this subject (joining hands with the BNF) is slowly coming close. We know that a PACT has worked with the Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM). We also know that merging the two parties (BAM and BCP) parties has had very telling benefits to the two parties".

Saleshando also gave examples of Kenya and Nigeria where opposition parties merged and experienced positive transformation.

Saleshando who was in an uncompromising mood said that the BCP will not engage in a protracted legal battle when asked about the position of his party should the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) approach court

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to seek reversal of the use of the new UDC constitution. He maintained that if there is no quick political solution to the feuding in the UDC, the BCP will do its best to ensure that a coalition with the BNF is a success.

The BCP conference also resolved that all constituencies and wards allocated to the BMD except those currently held by their legislators and councillors should be returned to the UDC.

“Reasons behind this are that the UDC concept is about allowing the best organised party with the highest number of supporters in a constituency to lead campaigns. Our people from different constituencies are saying we cannot give BMD constituencies where it does not have structures. It will be tantamount to inaugurating Masisi in advance.”

According to him, the BCP will not make a demand for any ward where it performed dismally in the last general elections and likewise will not be ceding any ward where it out performed the combined UDC.

"This cooperation is not about the weak looking for an opportunity to get on the back of the strong and declaring themselves a new born giant. It is about the best partner in the grouping using their strength to make sure that UDC wins."

Saleshando said that he recently met Alliance for Progressives (AP) leader Ndaba Gaolathe and urged him to consider joining the UDC or going into a reconfigured coalition with other opposition parties if problems in the UDC persist.

There is widespread believe that the feuding within the UDC might continue which will result in the BCP leaving the coalition and expectedly joining hands with BNF following the registration of the new constitution.

The new UDC constitution caters for one president something strongly opposed by the BMD, who prefers the old constitution that caters for two vice presidents. The BCP's position that constituencies and wards should be redistributed might also irk the BMD and spark infighting within the UDC.

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