14 December 2016

Botswana: BDP Pushes for Consensus Candidates

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has resolved to promote a safe-mode of settling for consensus candidates in next year's by-elections in 2017. BDP secretary general Botsalo Ntuane told local media on Tuesday that the decision was made because it has been realised that the party tends to do better when fielding a consensus candidate. BDP will contend in four by-elections in 2017 - three council seats and one parliamentary seat. Council by-elections will be held at Boikaelo Madiba in Palapye, Tsabong North and Rasesa while a parliamentary by-election will be held in Tlokweng. Ntuane said the party leadership has already visited three of the areas and talked with the structures and the general public concerning this. "Two of the three constituencies we visited have agreed on a consensus candidate except in Palapye where primary election will be held to determine the candidate," said Ntuane, adding however that this was not a directive as people have the right to stand for elections.

This is why a primary election is being conducted this weekend in Palapye. "The idea is to start the campaigns as soon as possible. In other two wards the campaigns have already been authorised," he said. There have been speculations going around about who the BDP will be fielding for the Tlokweng parliamentary by-election. Ntuane said they are yet to meet party structures and the general public in the constituency. "We are going to use the similar process as with other constituencies. On Sunday we will be in Tlokweng to meet the people about the prospects of a consensus candidate," he said. It looks like BDP will have a very busy 2017.

The party will hold its National Youth Congress in Tsabong on February 10-12, 2017. On the 4th March 2017 a mother of all rallies is expected as BDP will be celebrating its 55th anniversary. The celebrations will be held at the Serowe Stadium. The secretary general said preparations have already started and more details will be availed with time. The National Women's Wing Congress takes place on 17-19 March 2017 in Maun. From 24-25 March 2017 will be the Annual National Council meeting. The 37th National Congress will be held from 7-9 July 2017 at a place to be announced. Ntuane, however, said the congress will be in the Francistown region. "At the moment we are still finalising which constituency will be hosting the congress but it will definitely be in the Francistown region," he said.

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