President of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando has been appointed the leader of opposition in parliament.
The appointment comes after Speaker of the National Assembly Margret Nasha crowned BCP the official opposition party in the august house.
The post of the leader of opposition became vacant following the resignation of Botsalo Ntuane from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) the party he co-founded and retraced his foot steps back to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) last month.
Nasha met with opposition members of parliament on Wednesday morning in a bid agree on the matter.
Addressing parliamentarians later in the day, Nasha said the various provisions of the standing orders of parliament regulating the position were discussed at length in the meeting adding that it is evident that the provisions lack clarity, especially pertaining to the status and position of a coalition formation.
“In the light of the foregoing, it now falls on me as the speaker of this house, in terms of Standing Order 2.1 to make a ruling, pursuant to the provisions.
It is my considered decision, that while provisions of the Standing Order 9.3 read together with 9.3.1 and 7.4 make provision for a leader of the opposition to be spokesperson for a coalition, the said provisions are however ambiguous, with respect to the appointment of a leader of the opposition where there is a coalition that is not inclusive of all Opposition parties in the House.
“In this regard it is my considered view and ruling on this matter that the BCP as a single political party with the most seats in the house, is now the official opposition party in our parliament”, she said.
However BMD Secretary General who is also the MP for Francistown South; Wynter Mmolotsi argued that the decision by Nasha violates part of the standing order of the parliament.
He said last year they notified the speaker about their coalition and the coalition has more numbers than BCP last year and even to date.
“We will however respect the decision she has taken because we would not want to be taken to be fighting the speaker,” said Mmolotsi.