KANG: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth Wing has made a proposal for a number of amendments to the party constitution. The suggested changes were shared by the BDP secretary general, Mpho Balopi at the party’s National Council held here over the weekend.
Amongst these, they want Article 30.1 to be amended so that members of the Central Committee are elected every five years at the party’s National Congress.
Article 30.1 states that whether the party is in power or not, members of the Central Committee, save for the president are elected every two years at the National Congress.
Some party members, particularly those who were rallying behind Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, have expressed displeasure after the respective Women’s Wing and Youth Wing congresses, which were slated for earlier this year, were postponed.
The issue also caused fear with members that the National Congress billed for July where the Central Committee is to be elected, could also be moved to next year.
The main reason advanced by those who want it rescheduled was that it could disrupt the national polls slated for October. Balopi further shared that the Youth Wing proposed that for one to be eligible to stand for a Central Committee position they should have at least served for a minimum of two years at sub committees, regional or branch level.
The Simon Moabi-led Youth Wing wants every successful Parliamentary and council candidate in the party primaries to serve in Parliament or Council for an aggregate period not exceeding 10 years after winning in the general elections.
Currently, there is no limit for the term. Every party candidate wishing to stand for Parliamentary or local government elections shall be subject to prior approval by the Central Committee under and in accordance with the primary elections.
Former Molepolole North MP, Daniel Kwelagobe is the longest serving legislator having served for 40 years. Slumber Tsogwane and Venson-Moitoi have also been in Parliament for a long period of 20 years each.
They also want the National Congress to meet ordinarily every five years, and meet extra-ordinarily when convened by the president of the party, upon the requisition of a majority of the members of the National Council. Currently, the National Council meets ordinarily every two years.
Balopi also stated that the youth want chairpersons and secretaries of the wings of the party to attend the Parliamentary and Council Caucus.
They also want vetting guidelines for all candidates wishing to contest for Parliament/Council seats and for positions in the Central Committee, Party Wings, and Regional and branches to be reviewed.