The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is contesting results for Gaborone Bonnington North citing some irregularities.
The Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Anna Mokgethi was declared the winner with 6,933 votes against UDC president Duma Boko’s 4,495 votes, while Alliance For Progressives’ (AP) Dr. Kaelo Molefe garnered 1,047 votes with Real Alternative Party’s (RAP) Onkemetse Clark Lerubisi trailing behind with 56 votes.
“Our client has instructed us to institute an election petition on his behalf in the High Court of Botswana complaining about the undue election of one Anna Mokgethi, who on October 24, 2019 was declared the victor in respect of the Gaborone Bonnington North constituency elections in which you were also a candidate.
In the intended petition, our client would seek inter alia the setting aside of the results of the said election by reason of numerous irregularities to be fully traversed,” a letter signed by Dick Bayford from his firm to the candidates who lost read.
The letter states that in terms of section 116 of the Electoral Act, a petitioner is required, before lodging a petition with the High Court, to afford every person, other than the victor, who was a candidate at the election to which the petition relates an opportunity of becoming party to the petition as a co-petitioner.
The letter also gave other people who were candidates in the same area or constituency the opportunity to be joined as a joinder.
“By this letter, you are accordingly afforded the said opportunity. Kindly indicate by return within two days of receipt of this letter whether you want to avail yourself the opportunity of being joined as co-petitioner in the intended petition.
If we do not hear from you then, we shall presume that you do not wish to be so joined and proceed with the petition without further reference to yourself,” the letter states.
However, Molefe of AP said: “Indeed I have received the letter. My only problem is that UDC has not engaged me on whether there is an issue or not pertaining to those results or share with me about some of the irregularities, hence my decision not to partake in the petition”.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Osupile Maroba said they have not received any correspondence from UDC.
“Maybe we will receive it tomorrow. They are within their rights to do so because the IEC Act allows anyone who has a complaint to file an appeal within a period of 30 days. So they are still within that period,” Maroba said.
RAP candidate Lerubisi said they have received the letter and are willing to be part of the petition if UDC could give them heads of their arguments.
“There have been some irregularities in this elections. We do not have a problem with Boko’s petition,” Lerubisi said.