The Monitor :: BDP Should Lead By Example
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Last Updated
Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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BDP Should Lead By Example

The recently held Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections, or Bulela Ditswe as they are popularly known, have raised many eyebrows. BDP, as the ruling party is expected to lead by example, thus be able to conduct free and fair elections.
By Monitor Editor Mon 03 Sep 2018, 10:27 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: BDP Should Lead By Example








But its primaries were marred by controversies; ranging from voter trafficking, to missing ballot papers, and all other sorts of challenges. The BDP central committee is yet to deal with the issues and complaints raised by many hopefuls who lost in elections, many of whom, declared that they have not accepted the results. This means there hasn’t been a ruling yet on whether any of grievances raised hold water or not.

Should it be confirmed that all or most of the complaints raised, after the announcement of the Bulela Ditswe results is true, then we still have a long way to go. The question then is; If a candidate can cheat during the party’s primary elections, what more should we expect from general elections?

Yes, the general elections are conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which many doubt its autonomy largely due to the fact that it is funded by government. Now, with the public’s lack of trust in the independence of the IEC, it should be up to the ruling party, to conduct its election in the highest level of transparency and give the elections an integrity that cannot be questioned.

This commentary is not intended to suggest that any of the candidates who won cheated,

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but to implore the BDP to thoroughly investigate all the allegations put forth and ensure that all those found guilty of trying to deny the electorate the right to choose their preferred representative are held accountable. Not only that, the findings should be made public, so that BDP members and the nation at large are at ease, with their potential representatives.

Meanwhile, the decision by the Office of the President (OP) to make a public announcement regarding the use of Electoral Voting Machines (EVMs) is a welcome development. The OP in a press statement declared: “Since the Electoral (Amendment) Act of 2016 is not in operation, the 2019 General Elections will be conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act [Cap. 02:09], which does not provide for the use of EVMs, nor prohibits supplementary registration”.

This is mostly definitely music to many citizens’ ears, as a good number of citizenry raised concern about the sudden eagerness to adopt use of EVMs in the upcoming general elections. The importance of consultation in a democracy cannot be over emphasised. It is extremely important for leaders and the public to do more, to ensure that there is meaningful participation, which will enhance democracy, and benefit the nation at large.

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