- Concerns that other parties are already campaigning grip Domkrag
The “deafening silence” of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) about the date for the party’s primary elections is a source of growing anxiety among members.
This is made worse by the fact that opposition parties have held their primaries and some their candidates are already engaging with the electorate.
Political observers have warned that because the usual tumult of internal disputes around primary elections and their results generally require a lot of time to address, the sooner the primaries are held, the more time to resolve such disputes and reduce their internecine consequences.
The BDP is aware of this and often appeals for calm among members as it finalises “the necessary processes” to prepare for the primaries.
“We acknowledge the valid concerns and anxieties expressed by our members regarding the delay in holding primary elections,” the Secretary General of the party, Kavis Kario, told The Botswana Gazette in an interview.
“We understand that seeing competitors actively engaging with the electorate can be challenging when you await your party’s authorisation to commence your campaign.”
He said the delay is partly due to “a busy season” of national issues that include carrying out a national population census, delimitation of wards and constituencies, and dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The leadership found itself navigating a myriad of pressing issues simultaneously,” Kario emphasised.
“We ask our members in earnest to please bear with us as we navigate these complexities and work to ensure a thorough and well-prepared electoral process for the benefit of the entire party.”
While concerns that other parties may be earning mileage from the BDP’s delayed primaries, a high ranking member of the party says the appeal to members to remain calm is important for maintaining unity.
“But the leadership must also be transparent about the timeline for conducting primary elections,” the senior member said before acknowledging that the delay could impact the overall electoral strategy of the BDP.