FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is currently in consultation with some Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) experts, the BCP president has revealed.
Dumelang Saleshando told Mmegi on Monday as a follow-up question to the press conference that was held by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) on Saturday at Thapama Hotel here.
The BCP is an official constituent member of the UDC as was confirmed by the UDC president, Duma Boko during the press briefing.
“There are some people that we are talking to about the issue of EVMs. It is not necessary at this stage to state who those people are. We have not taken a decision that the people we are talking to will end up being our experts,” said Saleshando.
With the case set for initial case management on August 23, the BCP leader said it is not necessary at the case management conference stage for the BCP to confirm who their experts are.
On Sunday, Saleshando reiterated that the BCP and all the parties under the banner of the UDC are still against the use of EVMs during the 2019 general elections.
He also stated that the UDC is against the government’s move of abolishing supplementary registration and the increase of fees for people aspiring to be councillors and Members of Parliament in 2019 as that has the potential to disenfranchise aspirants who do not have money.
The BCP has instituted legal action against the Attorney General (AG), Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Secretary to the IEC respectively.
The BCP is of the view that the EVMs are prone to manipulation and can be hacked in favour of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) hence its abhorrence of the gadgets.
In its first relief, the BCP says that all sections of the Electoral (Amendment) Act No. 7 of 2016, which provide for the replacement of voting by ballot paper by EVMs be declared unconstitutional and in violation of Section 32 (3) (c) of the Constitution of Botswana be set aside and struck out.
The BCP also argues that all sections of the Electoral (Amendment) Act No. 7 of 2016 which provide for the replacement of voting by ballot paper with voting by EVMs be declared unconstitutional and in violation of Section 3 as read with Sections 12, 13 and 67 of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana and hereby set aside and struck out.
It is also of the view that Section 6 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act No.7 of 2016 which has deleted Section 8 of the Electoral Act thereby abolishing continuous and supplementary registration of voters is unconstitutional and violates Section 67 of the Constitution of Botswana be set aside and struck out. Any action, the BCP argues, done in pursuance or in execution or intended execution of the aforesaid provisions of the Electoral (Amendment) Act No.7 of 2016 be declared unlawful and set aside with costs.
On the other hand the Attorney General, who is the principal legal advisor to the state, vehemently opposes the BCP’s legal suit in its entirety.