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Bulela di Tswe losers to protest results

Bulela di Tswe losers to protest results
January 22
09:31 2018
  • Veterans huff and puff after losing to cycling political parvenu

TEBOGO MMOLAWA

Two losers in the primary elections of the Botswana Democratic Party in Francistown South say they will protest the results, putting the constituency in danger of tumult ahead of the next general elections in 2019.

In the primaries that held there at the weekend, Modiri Jojo Lucas thumped veteran politicians Lamodimo Dikomang and Khumongwana Maoto.

The youthful Lucas garnered 906 votes against Maoto’s 496 and Dikomang’s 306. This was an upset because did not give much of a chance he is regarded as a nonentity.

However, in the end the political parvenu’s house-to-house campaign riding a bicycle paid off.

This adds to concerns about poor turnout at the polls in a constituency that is a stronghold for the opposition. About 3 300 people had registered to vote but only about 1 708 people turned up to cast their votes over the weekend.

After returning officer Dominic Gombalume announced the results at Montsamaisa Junior Secondary School’s multi-purpose hall, Maoto made a speech in which he cast doubt on his acceptance of the outcome.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported me during the primary elections and those who voted for me,” he said. “I have been a dedicated and disciplined member of the BDP for the past 43 years.”

He then referenced the party’s election rules and regulations that he said some candidates routinely violated without censure from the party. After the ominous preamble, Maoto stated his intention to write a letter of protest to the central committee and the regional committee to query the results.

Whereupon Dikomang – who is a former deputy mayor – rose to make a similar threat. “Lucas used the media to campaign, which is against the (BDP’s) set rules and regulations,” she said.

She added that she had made numerous complaints through the branch committee ahead of the elections, but no action was taken. “Unfortunately I do not accept the results due to the reasons I have stated,” she asserted.

Meanwhile, among the din of threats of protests, Lucas has pronounced himself as charging full steam ahead and getting set to prepare for the 2019 general elections because the weekend primaries that he won were free and free.

The party’s leadership will have to move swiftly to address the complaints raised by the two loosing candidates if the party should keep its hopes of snatching the constituency from the opposition alive.

In the past, disgruntled BDP members have teamed up with the opposition and campaigned against the party’s candidates in the build-up to the general elections.

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