MAHALAPYE: Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) council candidate, Tumelo Koolekanye has retained the Boseja/Flowertown local government seat in a local election held over weekend.
The election in the Mahalapye East Ward was postponed during national polls held on October 23, after it was realised Alliance for Progressives (AP) candidate, Roosevelt Kgosi was omitted from the ballot paper.
Of the 1,783 people who registered to vote, 1,244 cast their vote while 539 did not. BDP received 754 votes and were seconded by the UDC with 391, BPF 88, AP seven votes. Four votes were spoilt. Returning officer, Bakaedi Masole confirmed the results. He announced the election went smoothly.
Candidates from four parties; Koolekanye, Kgosi, Khumo Ramagapu of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Patriotic Front’s (BPF) Paul Mosimanegape contested the ward.
“The only worrying factor is the high number of people who did not vote. Otherwise we worked well through the day until we completed the counting. Voters also did well, they were cooperative and it is evident they learnt the right way of voting, hence only four spoilt votes,” he said.Koolekanye was happy to retain the ward that the BDP has dominated since the first national elections. The BDP civic leader was winning the second consecutive local government term.
Although he decried the postponement ate further into the candidates’ pockets due to prolonged campaigns, he found it a blessing in disguise on his part. He said during the national polls, people were intimidated by the heated nationwide campaign.
“It was hectic, we worked very hard for this ward. People understand how much I worked for this ward in the past term and they were unintimidated hence we prevailed,” Koolekanye said after he was announced the winner.
“It is unfortunate other people did not get a chance to vote as the day was not a holiday as it was in the general elections. I believe those that did not vote were held (accountable) and unfortunately for them we had to abide by the law,” he added.
AP candidate, Kgosi who was the only candidate who sat through the entire verification and counting process, accepted the outcome. Representatives of the BPF also accepted the results while the one for UDC candidate did not sign for the outcome noting he would have to confirm with the candidate.