In this article, Mmegi Staff Writer OARABILE MOSIKARE predicts that a hung Parliament is highly likely of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). Interestingly, BPF will outperform AP. Generally, it will be difficult for the BDP to reach 16 north of Dibete and 10 south of Dibete. That gives one how close it is
My prediction is based on traditional party presence in a constituency, last election results, resources, vote splitting, primary elections acrimony and lastly the issues.
I proceed on the basis that although issues matter in elections they may not count that much in determining the winner.
As a general rule party allegiance in Botswana is solid and people do not easily abandon their parties. A swing from one political block to another of five percent is rare and even unprecedented in such as scenario.
The middle class that by definition, and owing to its class nature is prone to vacillation cannot be trusted to give the fatal blow to any party.
That will be delivered by the vote of the poor and marginalised, made up of poorly paid workers and the unemployed. Within the middle class they are those who may despise the UDC leader and consider him unsuitable for high office, but who can never vote for BDP for ideological and many other considerations.
The mistrust of UDC leader Duma Boko is not based on substantive reasoning. It is a false alarm. Others hate his personality but they cannot say he is corrupt or has stolen public funds. His rival, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is implicated in corruption on grounds that are not frivolous.
In terms of all the bad things BDP under former president Ian Khama did, Masisi, is what attorneys would call an accomplice. He publicly defended all the signature Khama policies.
He is equally culpable, despite his obvious political posturing to win elections. In truth on many objective criteria Boko is better than Masisi.
Ngami, Chobe, Okavango and two Maun constituencies may go to UDC. Traditionally opposition has a base there. Furthermore Okavango, Ngami and two Maun constituencies have very strong candidates. That is five in the pocket for the opposition.
Despite that the BDP should legitimately fancy its chances in Nata/Gweta. The party has strong presence. If it slips away it will be on account of the BPF. The BDP should also win Shashe West. The party and candidate are strong.
Nkange may finally go to UDC. Opposition has always done well there in terms of reducing the BDP margin. The bad treatment of former MP Edwin Batshu by BDP and UDC’s educated and more vibrant candidate Dr Nevah may just deliver it to the UDC.
Tati West may go to the UDC because of BPF factor. The UDC seems to have royal support but again the BPF candidate Biggie Butale may pull a surprise. The BDP should easily win Tati East.
The party is strong here and UDC has a weak candidate and seems divided.
In Francistown, the BDP has good chance in Francistown West. Although hopelessly disorganised in this constituency, the real ace is the candidate Ignatius Moswaane.
Wynter Mmolotsi may win Francistown South. It will be a surprise if the UDC wins it though. In Francistown East, Morgan Moseki of the UDC has a good chance. Moseki has been reducing BDP margin over the years. The BPF factor may give him push.
Thapelo Olopeng at Tonota’s chances to win seem brighter but former MP Pono Moatlhodi of the UDC cannot be ruled out. The 2014 margin was big. Taolo Lucas at Bobirwa may well make it. Still too close to call.
At Sefhare-Ramokgonami Dorcas Makgato of the BDP may trump Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang. If Gobotswang is strategic he might win because of the Khama factor that is both a curse and a blessing.
The Khama factor might occasion a massive swing in favour of the UDC. Palapye may go to UDC because of the BPF factor. BPF should win three Serowe constituencies.
The BDP’s chances of winning the two Mahalapye constituencies are slim. The BDP might retain Mahalapye West with a possibility of Mahalapye East slipping away to the UDC.
Prince Maele at Lerala-Maunatlala has an edge over the BDP. The UDC may win Shoshong while Mmadinare will go to the BDP.
The UDC and BDP will share Boteti constituencies. Vice President Slumber Tsogwane would not make it at Boteti West. At Mochudi East UDC is strong and may win.
Mmusi Kgafela of the BDP will win Mochudi West. This is because of the influence of the royalty. But the Kgatleng Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela II recently denounced the BDP.
The UDC will take Gaborone and the periphery, save for Gabane-Mankgodi and Mogoditshane. Mogoditshane just like Gabane-Makgodi are areas with highest concentration of workers and the poor.
Any party may win Gabane-Mankgodi and Mogoditshane. The BDP may win Kgalagadi South and Ghanzi South, Moshupa-Manyana, Thamaga-Kumakwane and Molepolole South.
It is tough for all the parties at Lobatse and the lucky candidate, either the BDP or UDC, might win it.
Thapelo Letsholo of the BDP is facing a tough task against the Umbrella at Kanye North constituency. Letsholo is highly resourced and organized while the UDC is divided there and candidate Otlaadisa Koosaletse looks tired.
The BDP is also divided here. The combined opposition numbers for 2014 general elections are huge but Letsholo might win it. The UDC might snatch this one.
The BDP may win Lentsweletau-Mmopane as the party is strong there and former MP Moeng Pheto is back with the party. The Umbrella will take Goodhope-Mabule, Letlhakeng-Lephepe, Kanye South and Takatokwane constituencies.
It will also retain Tlokweng, Ramotswa, Selebi-Phikwe West and win Selebi-Phikwe East. Jwaneng-Mabutsane is 50-50 between the BDP and the UDC. Any lucky party will win it.
The UDC might also retain Goodhope-Mabule, Ghanzi North and Kgalagadi North. The BDP might retain Mmathethe-Molapowabojang.
UDC – 28 seats
BDP - 22
BPF - 4
AP - 2