- Boko said to contest 2024 elections only as president
- Keorapetse likely to move to Bonnington North
- Boko pledges more resources for 2024 elections
The president for the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko, is likely to run only as a presidential candidate and not for any parliamentary seat in the 2024 general elections, reliable sources have told The Botswana Gazette.
Boko is therefore unlikely to challenge Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Annah Mokgethi in Gaborone Bonnignton North. This is because the party wants Boko to focus solely on stabilising the opposition coalition and fortifying the UDC sufficiently to take on the BDP.
The MP for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, is said to be willing to move his candidacy to Boko’s previous constituency. Boko’s stunning loss in the 2019 general elections came as one of the biggest shocks for the combined opposition bloc. He managed 1,851 votes against Mokgethi’s 3,033 in a constituency that he had served as MP from 2014 to 2019.
But Keorapetse has denied reports of his willingness to move to Gaborone Bonnignton North while Boko says his focus is on assisting in every constituency where the UDC will have a candidate for 2024 general elections. “I have said it on more than one occasion that my focus is on assisting in every constituency where the UDC is running, which is in all of them,” Boko said.
UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa told The Gazette in an interview that leaders of the UDC will make a call on deployment of candidates ahead of the next general elections in due course. “Strategic deployment of cadres, particularly at that level, is done by the organisation,” Mohwasa said.
“We may have our preferences as leaders, but the leadership collective has the final say. But the leadership collective has not made a decision on how the president will be deployed.”
Meanwhile, the rumoured relocation of Keorapetse is seen as another strategic move by the UDC to manage its conflict with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP). But it has also been suggested that Keorapetse may be suspended from the BCP for acting against the interests of the party. If that does not happen, businessman Rueben Kaizer may challenge him in the BCP primaries next year.
“Redeploying Keorapetse means that there would not be any fight for the constituency that could eventually result in votes being split and the UDC losing the constituency,” said a UDC source.
Over the weekend, Boko told members of the Botswana National Front (BNF) in Francistown that the UDC will have enough resources to challenge the ruling BDP ahead of the next general elections.