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The writing has for some time been on the wall and it was just a matter of time Botswana Congress Party (BCP) finally leaves coalition arrangement Umbrella for Democratic Change UDC.
BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile revealed over the weekend at the party’s mega rally in Maun that the political race in the 2024 general elections will pit the UDC, ruling Botswana Democratic Party and the new coalition between Alliance for Progressives (AP), newly formed Botswana Labor Party (BLP) and BCP.
The BCP has previously indicated that a decision on whether to contest the 2024 general elections under Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will be made at their party conference in July. It would appear the party has in a new development taken a decision on the matter ahead of their conference.
Kekgonegile who dismissed reports that constituency negotiations with BLP and AP were stalling, revealed that contrary to these rumours, the negotiations have been successfully completed.
“We have completed our talks and there were no fights regarding constituencies as some reports purported,” he said.
On their fall out with UDC, Kekgonegile said the main issues bordered on poor governance, adherence to the constitution and lack of internal democracy, which when BCP raised, its leaders were subsequently suspended from the UDC.
“During conferences BNF party members met before the UDC meeting and discussed issues which they then made decisions on and subsequently passed to be those of the UDC,” Kekgonegile said.
Meanwhile BCP veteran Vain Mamela has quipped that their partnership with other parties in the UDC was nothing but an election arrangement. He said though candidates were voted under UDC, their respective parties were never dissolved.
“UDC did not have a membership card, each candidate either BCP or BNF had their respective party memberships,” Mamela said.
Mamela further noted that they got into an agreement with the UDC only for the 2019 general election and therefore they don’t have a contract with the UDC in the next coming general election. He said BCP has been strong even without the coalition adding that their decision to join UDC was to defeat the ruling party not because they were desperate.
“BCP was given less constituencies during the 2019 general elections as compared to BNF but we won the highest number, we were given 20 constituencies and we won 11, BNF was given 32 and won four,” he said.