Both parties say the opposition project is of the essence
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) and the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are racing against time to submit their position papers on a model of opposition cooperation. It was agreed that both parties, which are not official members of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) opposition coalition, would submit position papers before the 30th of this month.
The Chairperson of the Opposition Forum, Dr Margaret Nasha, has confirmed that the two parties have not submitted their proposals yet which are for opposition parties before the 2024 general elections.
“As far as I am concerned we will be far before the end of this year because as soon as we receive the position papers, a negotiation team should be put in place to discuss constituency allocations, among other issues,” Dr Nasha said.
At the BPF, Chairperson Caroline Lesang said they may not have submitted their proposals but they remain committed to seeing opposition unity ahead of the next general elections. “I cannot remember when we last met as opposition parties but we agreed to go into the next elections as a bloc,” she said.“Our commitment to the coalition is not questionable because I believe we displayed that during the recent bye-elections.”
The Secretary General of the AP, Dr Phenyo Butale, said his party has completed the position paper and awaits the next phase of engagements about constituency allocation ahead of the next elections.
“The commitment is there and we should be able to conclude all issues on time because from our end we are ready and we believe our colleagues are also ready,” he said.
Butale added that there is no reason to believe that their recent position to back the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the Bophirima Ward bye-elections can soil their engagements with other parties.
“Those suggestions are misplaced because we took a position to support the BCP because we wanted to shape the kind of coalition we want, a coalition of equals and that of fairness,” he said.
Recently, both AP and BPF youth leagues appealed to their respective parties not to hold the opposition project to ransom.