BDP national council to discuss mekoko


A number of motions to restore the might of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are expected to be on the table as the party goes for its 53rd national council this weekend.

One likely motion is the call for the party to allow people who defected and stood as independent candidates or mekoko in the last election to return.

Haunted by the specter of defecting members, the BDP resolved at its 52nd national council last year that it would not welcome the return of such people back into its membership.

But many within the party feel the decision could spell disaster for the ruling party.

“The party did not do well in 2014 and we risk losing some of our constituencies again if we don’t look into the matter. Some of those people are not lightweights in politics and they won their wards. Politics is about numbers, we can’t afford to lose members again,” said a BDP delegate who preferred anonymity.

The motion has the potential to divide the party further as many are still smarting from defeat by the independents or from the opposition due to vote splitting.

The national council is also expected to discuss the thorny issue of women representation and the need to allocate a quota to women. Women representation has remained a hot issue in the BDP led-government, as the country will not ratify certain conventions such as the SADC Gender Protocol. Government has maintained that it will not sign the protocol because of “the mandatory language used in crafting most of the clauses”. The protocol calls, for among others a 50% women representation in all positions of political influence.

“It is time the party came up with a quota for women as they are disadvantaged when it comes to elections,” said the delegate.

BDP executive secretary Sechele Sechele said the meeting will start on Friday and that motions adopted by the national council will be forwarded to the party’s July congress for finalisation. However, he would not disclose what motions will be discussed.

“Each region will bring motions that are going to be discussed at the council. Those that will pass are going to be taken to the July congress for finalisation [but] I cannot disclose those motions,” he said.

Up to 285 delegates from all 57 constituencies are expected to attend. They include members of the central committee and its four committees, executive committees of the women and youth wings, Members of Parliament, regional chairpersons and secretaries, branch chairpersons and secretaries and one council from each branch.

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