BDP Aims to Increase Popular Vote

Governance

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has resolved to sharpen its strategies in order to increase its popular vote in 2019.

The party’s secretary general, Mr Mpho Balopi explained on March 18 that the BDP leadership was concerned by its declining popular vote. BDP managed 47 per cent of the popular vote despite winning last year’s general elections, the party’s weakest performance ever.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Gaborone on March 18, Mr Balopi stressed that that occurrence would not repeat itself in 2019.

“The issue of unpopularity is a concern to everyone, but us as the BDP, much as we are concerned by the declining popular vote, we have identified some of the key issues that we believe contributed to a large extent to why democrats did not come in larger numbers as we had expected,” he explained.

He said one of their interventions was the review of ‘Bulela Ditswe’, the system used by the party for primary elections. The model, introduced before the 2004 general elections, was partly blamed for disgruntlements by some party members ahead of the 2014 general elections.

Some disgruntled candidates who queried the fairness of the BDP primary elections opted to stand as independent candidates last year.

Mr Balopi explained that the BDP National Council, which last week held a three-day meeting in Gaborone, resolved to continue using the ‘Bulela Ditswe’ system.

He said after an extensive debate on ‘Bulela Ditswe’, the party expressed its unwavering confidence in the system as a process of inner party democracy. He said the party has agreed to reform the system in order to strengthen its mandate. He said the party was confident that reforming its primary elections system would close loopholes and reduce disgruntlements.

The chairman of BDP Sub-Committee on Communication and International Relations, Mr Shaw Kgathi explained that the party analysed the situation around its declining popular vote and seen where it has gone wrong. Meanwhile, Mr Balopi explained that the BDP has been fast-tracked into the family of Socialist International Parties because of its good governance and adherence to democratic ideals, which includes the rule of law and respect for humanity.

He said the party was accepted into the organisation at its December conference in Geneva.He said it was fitting for BDP to be part of the Socialist International family since it has been at the helm of one of the longest democratic governments in Africa. He said by being a member of the family of Socialist International, BDP will be able to share experiences with many organisations globally.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News