Opposition Botswana Congress Party has postponed council primary elections in Francistown West constituency to a date yet to be announced. The elections were supposed to be held on June 9.
BCP Francistown region chairperson, Dingalo Ditsheko confirmed that the primary elections have been postponed, in an interview with Global Post. “Yes I can confirm that the party leadership has taken a decision to postpone the primary elections in Francistown West constituency that were supposed to be held over the weekend,” he said. According to Ditsheko, several reasons prompted the leadership to postpone the polls. One of the reasons is that candidates did not have ample time to campaign as they assisted in house to house campaigns for Moselewapula ward by election in which the party and is coalition partners managed to rustle the ward from the ruling BDP for the first time in history.
Another reason, Dingalo cited was that the constituency committee was also not ready to hold the primary elections hence it was not going to be fair to continue under such circumstances. BCP will only contest for council seats in Francistown West constituency after the party leadership agreed a swapping deal to give the constituency to BMD in exchange for Maun West. The BMD has since given the constituency to BPP. Some of the BCP activists are still unhappy with the decision to give away the constituency as they strongly believe that the party was going to give the ruling BDP strong competition for the parliamentary seat. Those who had shown interest to contest for the parliamentary candidacy being Vain Mamela, Marea Kusasa and Nthusi Chimbise have already been refunded.
One of the council candidates who preferred anonymity, told this publication that they did not receive any formal communiqué that the primary elections have been postponed. “I just heard from the grape vine that the weekend polls have been postponed. We have not received any formal correspondence from the regional leadership to inform us about the decision to postpone the elections,” said the council candidate. He further said even party activists are not aware that the elections have been postponed. He added, “We had a meeting with the regional leadership last week and we were reassured that the primary elections will be held as scheduled.”
The source further claims that even voters’ rolls that were going to be used during the elections arrived late in Francistown. “The party constitution clearly stipulates that candidates should have the voters roll for 21 days before primary elections can be held,” he concluded.