The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is reportedly divided over proposed changes to the Vice Presidential nomination process. The constitutional review committee has recommended that the Vice President should not have a constituency, while retaining the current system of appointment. President Mokgweetsi Masisi is believed to support the proposal, while some members of the ruling party, including those in the central committee and Members of Parliament, are against it.
Opposition to the proposal
“We are not going to support it,” said one MP. “The President is aware that he does not have our support on it.” The proposal will be discussed by the party’s parliamentary caucus during the winter house, according to reports. The matter was also raised at the party’s national council in September last year but was rejected by members.
Some believe that Masisi is concerned that some of his preferred successors may not return to parliament after the 2024 general elections. Peggy Serame, Kefentse Mzwinila, Lemogang Kwape, and Kabo Morwaeng are potential candidates for the Vice Presidency in 2024.
The constitutional review commission has recommended that the Vice President must step down as a member of the National Assembly upon endorsement by the National Assembly. A by-election to fill the vacancy created by the Vice President’s resignation should be held within 90 days, according to the commission’s recommendation.
The commission explained that the dual responsibility of the Vice President resulted in neglect of the constituency as they are bound to represent the President on various occasions or act on their behalf. The commission also argued that the current system derailed the Vice President from focusing on Presidential duties.
The BDP remains divided over the proposed constitutional amendments. The debate continues, with the party’s parliamentary caucus expected to discuss the proposal during the winter house.