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UDC to dominate Gabs, surrounding areas

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It is highly likely that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) could win most seats within Gaborone and surrounding areas, further squeezing the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which has been struggling in these areas, TEFO PHEAGE reports.

Gaborone North

The constituency had 15153 people registered to vote in 2014 and only 13 000 turned up to actually vote. In the total 5738 voted for the UDC while 3157 voted for the BCP. This shows that 70 percent of total voters preferred the BCP and the UDC against the BDP which only got 4109 translating into 30 percent. The UDC has retained Haskings Nkaingwa while the BDP has fielded a new candidate in Mpho Balopi. The BMD’s Sidney Pilane does not appear to be a threat to anybody. Political dynamics remain almost the same in the area. Projections give it to UDC.

Gaborone Central

The constituency had 14086 registered and only 11554 turned up to vote. A total of 8328 voted for the UDC and the BCP, which are now one. This suggests that over 70 percent of voters in this constituency prefer the UDC. The percentage mirrors the 2009 numbers where the BCP alone gathered over 68 percent of total voters. The University of Botswana politics, which were recently won by the UDC, also suggest that the UDC has an upper hand. Phenyo Butale, who has since moved to the AP, is unlikely to be a factor as he was voted for by the people who rejected Dumelang Saleshando on pro-unity grounds. It can also be argued that Butale, who had only a few weeks to campaign, was a beneficiary of the Gomolemo Motswaledi sympathy vote. The AP has not shown any threat in the constituency and was not even a factor in the UB politics. Projections give it to the UDC.

Gaborone South

The constituency had 13534 registered voters and out of which 60.5 percent voted for the UDC and the BCP. Their combined numbers give the UDC an upper hand but the BDP numbers (40 percent) cannot be ignored. The 2009 numbers and trends suggest that not much changed in 2014 voting patterns. The support base of the AP and the troubled BMD are yet to be felt in the area and may not do much to destabilise the main competitors, the UDC and the BDP. The UDC may win by a very slight margin.

Gaborone Bonnington North

Led by UDC president Duma Boko, the constituency registered 16625 voters in 2014 out of whom over 70 percent voted for the UDC and the BCP. The two parties garnered over 10 000 votes against the BDP’s 4222. The BDP has fielded a perennial loser, Anna Motlhagodi, and it will take a miracle for her to beat the president of the opposition coalition. The AP and the BMD will once again struggle in this constituency. The UDC may win this one.

Gaborone Bonnington South

The constituency registered 13771 voters with AP president Ndaba Gaolathe, who was then under the UDC, polling 57.5 percent of total votes. The BCP only polled 11.4 percent against the BDP’s 31.11 percent. The UDC’s influence in this constituency and Ndaba’s popularity will definitely come into play and this may split the two parties’ votes in favour of the BDP. Ndaba could see what Dumelang Saleshando experienced in 2014. The constituency could go either way but the winner will have a very slim margin.

Tlokweng

The 2014 BCP and UDC percentage of votes here stands at 66.4 percent. The 2017 by-election that followed Same Bathobakae’s death reaffirmed the voting patterns as the BCP-backed UDC polled 68 percent of total votes. The UDC is highly likely to retain the constituency. It will take a miracle for the AP or the BMD to pull a surprise.

Mochudi East

Around 20460 electorates registered to vote in the constituency but a total of 17452 turned out to vote out of whom 65 percent voted for the BCP and the UDC. The UDC went further to retain the seat with a margin of 1118 against the BDP last year following the death of Isaac Davids. The constituency remains a BNF and BCP stronghold and not much change is anticipated.

Mochudi West

Unlike Mochudi East, the BDP cannot be undermined in Mochudi West where the party has been polling amazing numbers in past elections. The arrival of royal family member Mmusi Kgafela will surely add spark to the BDP’s chances. His rival, Gilbert Mangole, will now be fighting without BNF support. The UDC candidate will without a doubt share votes with Mangole, giving Kgafela even greater advantage.

Ramotswa

This is another constituency where the rift between the government and magosi is likely to have a negative impact on the BDP. The UDC will once again rely heavily on its combined numbers with the BCP to suffocate the BDP. But the BDP could pull a surprise should the AP and the BMD eat into the opposition votes.

Goodhope-Mabule

This is a battle between the UDC and BDP. With Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II having announced that he will not be in the running, the BDP could make a comeback. However, talk that some constituents do not want Eric Molale because they view him as a a candidate forced upon them persists. The 2014 election results however show that Molale was voted for by large numbers despite suggestions that he was unwanted. The constituency could go either way.

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