The battle for soul of Lentsweletau-Mmopane constituency is far from over as the area Member of Parliament (MP), Vincent Seretse has reportedly taken his appeal of the recent Bulela Ditswe results to the BDP central committee.
Authoritative sources within the constituency say Seretse wants the party’s Central Committee to overturn an Electoral Board decision that ordered the September 9, 2018 re-run. Seretse initially won the August 25 by-election, defeating his closest rival, Nnaniki Makwinja, by a 45-vote margin. The Electoral Board ordered a re-run citing numerous alleged irregularities and Seretse consequently lost to Makwinja by 930 votes. Mmegi this week was informed that the incumbent MP, who is also the Infrastructure and Housing Development minister, has taken his appeal to the party’s highest decision-making body.
Those privy to the protest letter written by Seretse mid-September allege that the minister feels the re-run was not in line with the party’s regulations governing primary elections. For instance, Seretse claims that the returning officer or other candidates raised no complaints about his August victory. “Seretse feels that if at all there were complaints, they should have been lodged with the party within a week just like it happened in other constituencies. He feels that he should have been given the opportunity to respond to any appeal lodged as prescribed under Appeals. Hence his dismay six days later that there is going to be a re-run,” a source close to the developments stated. It is understood the crux of his appeal is that the responsibility to order a re-run lies with the Central Committee.
“His bone of contention is that the chairperson of the Electoral Board, Peter Siele announced that he consulted the party chairperson, Slumber Tsogwane before they ordered the re-run. This cannot be a central
Constituency insiders said Seretse felt he had been treated unfairly and maliciously targeted by certain members of the BDP.
Kweneng East regional chairperson Driver Motlokwa said they are not aware that MP Seretse has written to the party central committee challenging the decision of a rerun.
“If anyone is unhappy with the decision of a rerun or appeals the outcome, he could have written to the region also. But the region cannot stop someone from complaining to the party central committee if one feels aggrieved,” Motlokwa said.
However Mmegi has learnt that the decision for a rerun of the Lentsweletau-Mmopane constituency was taken after the Electoral Board consulted the central committee about the matter. The BDP central committee will on Monday decide on the issue during the meeting and other recommendations of the regional committees regarding the primary election protests.
Reached for comment Seretse said: “I confirm that I have challenged the decision of the Electoral Board. I trust that the leadership will do the right thing”.
He said the BDP is a party that prides itself on respect for rule of law and it has always treated members fairly and equitably. BDP communication chairperson, Lesedi Dintwe said he could not comment on internal BDP matters. “I am not aware if the office received the letter or not.
The BDP secretary general may know better,” Dintwe said.
The party’s secretary general, Mpho Balopi could not be reached for comment at press time.