Mmegi Online :: Lull before the storm in Mahalapye West
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Last Updated
Saturday 19 May 2018, 10:00 am.
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Lull before the storm in Mahalapye West

FRANCISTOWN: Political parties seem to have been caught with their pants down with the announcement of the date for the Mahalapye West parliamentary by-election.
By CHAKALISA DUBE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Lull before the storm in Mahalapye West








The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) issued a writ last Thursday announcing that the by-election would be held on November 3, the same date as voters in Tshikenyega ward in the constituency will elect a replacement for the late Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor Konopo Phillimon.

After the announcement, contesting parties played their cards close to the chest and appeared to have been caught off-guard. They however, asserted that they will soon be unsheathing their weapons for the campaigns.

The parties seemed to have taken it easy waiting for the announcement of the by-election date. However, this is just the lull before the eruption of political activity. After the announcement, Bernard Bolele, the candidate for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has indicated that they will soon up their game in preparation for a resounding victory.

BDP executive secretary, Thabo Masalila has made the same promise explaining the announcement of the election date will goad the party to action. "We have just identified our candidate for the election. Following the announcement of the by-election date, we will be launching our candidate soon so that we can accelerate our campaign for the ward and hold more rallies to entice voters," he told Mmegi from Mahalapye recently.
He said the BDP has started mobilising voters through house-to-house campaigns in the quest

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to clinch the Tshikenyega ward.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which will be represented by 36-year-old David Tshere at the polls has indicated that it will soon be scaling up preparations for the by-elections. "We have already started our house-to-house campaign for the by-election and things are going fairly well. What is left now is to launch our candidate as soon as possible and speed up our campaign for the by-election now that the date for the by-election has been announced.

The only major problem we are facing is that we cannot reach some of our potential voters because they have changed their contacts and addresses," the BCP secretary general, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang said.

At the Botswana National Front (BNF), publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa has said they are ready for the contest."We are ready to contest the by-election. We believe we have covered much ground which is vital for every by-election," he said. 

Mohwasa acknowledged that the party is struggling to reach some people who voted in the last general elections because they have relocated. The BNF will be represented by Abigail Mogalakwe in the parliamentary contest. The seat fell vacant after the resignation of the ailing Mompati Merafhe from active politics about two months ago. Merafhe was the vice-president of the country when he quit.

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