- Says the appellants failed to follow the laid procedure
- Nine dismissed appellants launch appeal to BDP central committee
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Francistown region has dismissed all 22 appeals arising from their recent primary elections, Bulela Ditswe, due to failure by the appellants to follow the party’s appeal procedures.
Following the BDP’s second batch of primary elections held two months ago, over 22 candidates inclusive of Parliamentary and Council candidates rejected the results and appealed to the party’s governing body amid claims of election irregularities. Their objections to the election results focused on irregularities which occurred on the Election Day; missing registration books as well as voter trafficking.
The Botswana Gazette has established that the BDP Francistown region, led by its Chairman Baemedi Medupi, has dismissed all the 22 appeals on the grounds that the appellants did not follow the laid procedure as stated on the BDP primary elections regulation 12(c) (i). According to the findings all the appellants did not follow the laid procedure.
Tonota Parliamentary candidates Botho Ntirang, Peter Williams, Tati East Parliamentary candidate Sean Sebele are among those who appealed against their electoral losses. In Francistown West constituency four parliamentary candidates appealed, Raoboy Mpuang, Kago Phofuetsile as well as Cornelius Gopolang. As for the councilors 15 regional candidates lodged protests.
“As such the Regional Committee observed that the procedure was violated by both the appellants. The said notice of appeal shall set forth clearly and in detail, the irregularities alleged to have committed, or the reasons for the complaint. A copy of such ground shall be furnished to any person who may be affected by the appeal. Then the Regional Committee shall verify whether the appellant has sent a copy of the petition to the respondent. Despite this the Regional Committee observed that the appellant did not furnish a copy of the petition to the affected parties. Also the committee verified that the appellants did not serve the respondents with copy of the petition,” the Regional Committee stated dismissing the appeals.
The Regional Committee noted that “failure to follow the laid down procedure will nullify any opportunity for appeal. Therefore, we came to conclusion that the appellants have violated the primary elections regulations”
The Committee also noted in dismissing the appeals that the Returning Officer confirmed that there were no irregularities reported to him during the Election Day except for minor mistakes in respect of misspelling of names which were corrected within a reasonable time. In addition, according to the Committee no observer complained about the misspellings during the counting process, spoilt votes were from across the board and therefore no candidate was disadvantaged. “After carefully going through the issues raised by the appellants the Regional Committee decided to reject all the appeals. If the appellants are aggrieved by the committee’s decision they can appeal to the Central Committee within seven days,” the Committee held.
The Regional Chairman confirmed the dismissal of all the appeal when reached for comment. “I can confirm that the region has dismissed all the 22 appeals due to failure by the appellants to follow the laid primary election procedure. Ultimately four parliamentary candidates from Francistown west who include Mpuang, Gopolang, Phofuetsile as well as Kealotswe have further appealed to the party Central Committee. Similarly, five councilors from the same constituency also appealed,” Medupi revealed in an interview.