Political analysts say the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) popularity has grown compared to opposition parties.
They say this year’s election shows that the BDP has appealed to more people as compared to 2014. “The BDP had a sympathy vote from people because of the former president Ian Khama.
People were not happy with the fact that Khama was interfering in President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s leadership,” analyst Lesole Machacha said.
“Their belief was that Khama had played his part and failed Batswana and Masisi is changing the situation positively. Batswana have a belief that Masisi will address some of the problems that they are facing including unemployment amongst others.”
He said the BDP has grown in terms of popular vote and the number of seats in Parliament. In 2014, the BDP had 37 MPs and in 2019, it has 38 MPs.
However, Machacha said the opposition popular vote and number of seats in Parliament has been reduced this year. In 2014, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) won 17 seats compared to this year’s 15. Botswana Congress Party (BCP), which is now an affiliate of UDC, had three in 2014.
This year, new entrant, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) got three seats while the Alliance for Progressives (AP) has
Machacha said although the opposition did not perform badly there is need for it to work together in order to become one united entity. “If they don’t do so then they would never win the elections.
They need to face reality. AP, BPF and Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) need to join the UDC,” he said. Another analyst, Anthony Morima shared the same sentiments with Machacha.
“Honestly BDP was appealing to workers and that is why they voted for it in large numbers unlike 2014 when they did not hear the voice of workers. Failure by opposition parties to cooperate has had negative impact on their results,” Morima said.
“I do not see some of these parties existing in years to come, for example what could happen to BPF if Khama’s family quit or retire from active politics?”
Unofficial statistics suggest that BDP’s popular vote grew from 46.45% in 2014 to 52.77% in 2019, while UDC has grown from 30.01% to 36.37% and AP got 4.75 percent while BPF sits at 4.27 percent, sources said.
The Independent Electoral Commission confirmed that official popular vote statistics will be released today.