Dysfunctional structures delay BDP primaries


FRANCISTOWN: The official announcement of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections date has been delayed mainly because the party is still besieged with resuscitating its dead structures across the country.

This was confirmed by the party spokesperson, Kagelelo Kentse, who said the party’s Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) is currently going around the country working on reviving structures. The structures collapsed after most members resigned after expressing interest to contest the primaries. This was in line with a resolution that was passed by the party’s special congress in Palapye last year. The resolution prescribed that prospective candidate of primary elections structures who are also office bearers of the Youth and Women’s Wing structures, regional committees, and sub-committees of the central committee should resign from their positions. Only central committee members are not mandated to resign.

Kentse previously told Mmegi that party operations or activities will not be greatly affected should members quit in mass to contest the primaries. The primaries are usually held a year before the general elections, but the party is yet to give a hint as to when they will be held. It has been speculated that the party will have its primaries in March to choose council and parliamentary candidates for the 2024 General Election billed for October. “We can only hold the primaries or announce the date when the PEEC has completed its work. The PEEC is currently going around the country reviving structures. Indications are that the process is going very well. We anticipate that the committee will complete its job in two or three weeks. It will then issue a report to the central committee,” Kentse said. He pointed out that the central committee will decide on the date for the primaries after studying the PEEC report. “The other factor that has delayed the primaries is that the party had the task of adjusting structures in response to the delimitation exercise which resulted in new wards and constituencies,” he added. The aftermath of the ruling party primaries is usually characterised by infighting and divisions. There have been instances where BDP members who lost the primaries ahead of the general elections quit to contest as Mekoko (independent candidates) or contest under the opposition banner.

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