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Unresolved primary election petition threatens BNF

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
With only four months towards general elections, the Botswana National Front (BNF) has unresolved issues pertaining to primary elections.

For instance, the BNF National Appeals Board is yet to sit and resolve some of the pending issues regarding party primary elections. The unresolved cases seem to affect some constituencies negatively as they wait with anxiety for the matters to be dealt with.

As a result, this week vice chairperson for Letlhakeng/ Lephephe constituency Phillip Puleng said campaign in the area has since stopped because some aspiring candidates cannot work together.

The BNF is yet to resolve the issue surrounding the selection of a Parliamentary candidate for the area. The impasse follows a decision of the National Election Committee calling for a re-run in three wards. 

“The painful truth is that Selatlho and Ramotswai are no longer cooperating because the matter took long. Their supporters are fighting unnecessarily when others campaign. This issue is causing divisions amongst BNF members in the area. We don’t know why this issue has taken long to be resolved. That was after one of the candidates appealed the decision that was taken by the election committee,” Puleng said.

He explained that failure to resolve the matter in good time delays the campaigns to start in the area. This is because they need both members to

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start working together. He asserted; “It is advisable for primary elections to be held in three wards for the issues to be resolved and for reconciliation process to start amongst members.” 

He pointed out that some members are even threatening to quit the party or contest as independents if the matter is not resolved.

During the primary elections, Onthathile Selatlho got 843 votes while Agisanyang Ramotswai got 826.

Meanwhile, a letter written to candidates on January 23, 2019  by chairperson for National Elections Appeals Committee (NEAC) Oteng Motlhala reads thus: “The appeal is upheld (succeeds) with respect to the parliamentary election in the wards where previously agreed polling stations were cancelled being Serinane-Diphuduhudu, Malwelwe and Maratswane.

There should be a re-run for parliamentary election exclusively in those wards.  Thereafter, the results should be consolidated or harmonised with those of other wards.  The appeal is dismissed with respect to the remaining wards or polling stations”. 

In his response to the matter,  BNF secretary general Moeti Mohwasa said the party’s Appeals Committee would decide on the matter since there was an appeal regarding the decision that was taken by NEAC.

“All appeals that might be pending will be resolved soon,” Mohwasa said.



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