More first-timers as political underdogs seek to defy odds

Gampone PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Gampone PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Besides the return of the old guards, different political parties have fielded political newcomers, as well as diehards who have been in the trenches long enough but never had the zest to represent the party in the General Election. Mmegi staffer SPIRA TLHANKANE observes that more first-time candidates are getting into politics more than ever perhaps to shake up the establishment and write another underdog story

The upcoming polls in October will be an acid test for veterans. The demand for newcomers is higher with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries popularly known as Bulela Ditswe having attracted about 90 aspirants who lack prior experience in elective office. Whether they will fare better against experienced candidates in the primaries is a story for another day, but the numbers of aspirants who have shown interest in both Parliament and wards show a substantial uptick in the number of inexperienced aspiring candidates.

It is not just the ruling party but the opposition outfit Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has also confirmed 54 of its parliamentary candidates showed a strong appetite for political amateurs, with around half of their candidates having never held office before. About 23 confirmed candidates out of the 54 are first-time candidates. Most of the candidates are experts in their own fields but when it comes to the dynamic game of politics, most have never sought public office before.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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