- BPF refuses constituency swap
- Accuses BNF of ‘big brother’ mentality
The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) is reportedly contemplating withdrawing from the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ahead of the upcoming general elections over unrest arising from recent constituency allocations.
Key sources within the coalition say concerns over what they describe as ‘big brother’ mentality of the Botswana National Front (BNF) are the matter.
The BNF faces accusations of attempting to sideline candidates of the BPF, the Botswana People’s Party (BPP), and the Alliance for Progressives (AP) in certain constituencies.
This follows negotiations between the BNF and the BPF about swapping Mmadinare and Goodhope-Mmathethe constituencies reaching an impasse recently.
The BNF wanted its Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa to run in Mmadinare, thus making way for the BPF to take over in Goodhope-Mmathethe.
However, led by its president Mephato Reatile and chairman Carter Morupisi, the BPF raised a counterproposal of additional constituencies, including Francistown East and Mmopane-Metsimotlhabe, in a 3:1 ratio.
“The relationship between the two parties is really disturbing and will cost the UDC in the general elections if it is not addressed,” said a source.
The BPF move was prompted by BNF members pressurising party president Duma Boko, who is also president of the UDC, for constituencies already allocated to other parties.
BNF members were angling Molepolole South, Mmopane-Metsimotlhabe, Kgatleng East, and Mmadinare, threatening to run as independent candidates if their demands were not met.
“They argue that these constituencies are more winnable with BNF candidates,” said another source. “But this is not only about the BNF; other parties are also involved.”
Attempts for a comment from Reatile and BPF secretary general Lawrence Ookeditse proved futile when their phones were not answered on yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.