The Alliance for Progressives (AP) has accepted with conditions an invitation by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to a meeting to discuss coalition.
One of the conditions is that they should all resolve possible impediments including the court case by February 28, 2019 so that mobilisation starts.
This came after UDC president; Duma Boko invited AP to a meeting in a bid to have them join the coalition.
Mmegi has learnt that AP Central Committee (CC) met last Thursday to take a final decision on the matter. It is said that AP was divided as others felt that time is on their side to start negotiating with other parties since it is the year of general elections.
“Some members felt that UDC is still having court cases that may affect them going forward on their campaigns,” the source said.
“The other issue was the one for constituencies that members felt is likely to divide them since some parties had already filled their candidates on them.”
“Some said it is important that the party should cooperate with other opposition parties but there should be conditions that they had set.” The other source said CC believes that AP cannot wait for UDC until March or April to resolve their issues since the campaigns and launches of candidates must start.
The source said they want the UDC to be clear on issues of constituencies when negotiations start.
AP secretary general, Phenyo Butale said; “It is true we have met as CC and deliberated on the UDC’s letter. We have responded to it, but I am sorry I cannot disclose the contents of the letter because this is an internal matter between two parties.”
However, UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa confirmed that they received AP response letter on Tuesday and National Executive Committee was yet to meet and deliberate on the matter.
“UDC is willing to cooperate with any party whether it has litigation or not because the bigger issue is how we can cooperate in 2019 elections,” Mohwasa said.
“Litigations are always going to be there and I remember that Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) worked with Botswana National Front (BNF) when it had court cases and they were not sure how the outcome of the cases would be. Each party will continue to have its own problems but what matters is how they handle and resolve them.”
In his letter, Boko requested a meeting with AP president, Ndaba Gaolathe “on such terms and on timelines that will be mutually agreed, to outline any thoughts and ideas in the regards set out herein and to chart the way forward.”
“As you no doubt recall, UDC an initiative in which you played an important role, was established to pursue the objective of uniting all opposition parties in Botswana and ensuring that all general elections are contested by that united opposition against the Botswana Democratic Party,” said Boko in his letter.
“It was also a cardinal principle of such united opposition to establish certain bright lines to underpin a new government post the removal of the Botswana Democratic Party from power.”
Boko stated that the ideal of united opposition could not be more critical and urgent in the current political landscape.
He said it remains major objective, despite the many challenges this ideal has faced and continues to face; there is no substitute for it.