BDP revels in 'southern comfort'

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) made history yesterday by winning most constituencies in the South, including those that were long time opposition strongholds.

For example, for the first time the BDP won controlling council seats in Lobatse, Gaborone, Tlokweng and in areas like Mochudi while the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) only won a single council seat in those areas. However, the ruling party lost its stronghold in the central part of the country especially Serowe areas.

Two opposition leaders, UDC president Duma Boko and Alliance for Progressives (AP) Ndaba Gaolathe did not retain their seats. Boko is the former MP for Gaborone Bonnington North while Gaolathe was the MP for Gaborone Bonnington South. Political analyst, Anthony Morima said the reason opposition parties failed to do well in the South was because of splitting the opposition vote.

“This should be a lesson to the opposition parties that they need each other. They could have known this better because of what happened in 2014. The BDP has won all these areas because of hard work.

“It shows that the BDP did introspect after the 2014 results and the decision not to hold primary elections has helped them. The consensus candidate helps the party to organise itself well in time and it brings members together,” Morima said. He said the BDP had a good technical approach on how it would handle the areas it had lost.

The political analyst said the other issue that had mixed impact on the UDC was the Khama factor.

“Some members of UDC were not comfortable with the unexplained relationship between Khama and UDC. That on its own made some members to vote with the BDP because they felt Khama was a liability.  “But again, the UDC benefited a lot in the North because of Khama’s popularity.

The UDC is winning wards and some constituencies it has never won.”  Morima said the UDC had also managed to revive the Botswana Congress Party BCP), one of its affiliates.  Morima said the 2019 performances call for all parties to re-align and go back to the basics.

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