Ruling party will not be represented at F/town West by-election
Tears of frustration mingled with cheers of celebration when the ruling party failed to meet the IEC deadline to submit nominations for the F/town West by-election.
The 23 November by-election will be contested without a BDP candidate after the party was unable to submit a name to the IEC before the 5pm deadline today (Friday).
Outside the nomination registration point at Francistown Senior Secondary school BDP supporters were in tears. Disqualified candidateIgnitiousMoswaane was rendered speechless when it became clear that his dream of becoming an MP had been shattered by party in-fighting.
The BDP’s historic disqualification was good news for the opposition parties who will now slug it out between themselves for what has up to now been a BDP stronghold.
The constituency will be contested by four candidates -Botswana Congress Party’s (BCP) DrHabaudiHobona, Botswana People’s Party (BPP) ShathisoTambule and two independent candidates Joseph Mabathu and KagoPhufoetsile.
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) returning officer OpeloGaapalwe has confirmed the names of the candidates.
As the news broke BDP’s Deputy Treasurer ThapeloOlopeng, who had come to witness the process,expressed his bitter disappointment.
In an interview with The Voice he said: “It is sad that we will not be contesting the elections. The party was served with a court order interdicting us not to field any candidate. So there is nothing we can do but to comply with the court order,” he said.
He also said the star rally billed for Saturday would be cancelled.
The party big wigs, including the vice president PHK and former vice president Merafhe, who had already checked into their hotel rooms in preparation for the rally, will now have to go back to the capital city with their tails between their legs.
They will no doubt seek guidance as they digest the implications of the disqualification.
Ironically the matter was brought to a head when party member WyteMarobela contested the legitimacy of the primary elections that saw Moswaane sail through at his expense.
He asked the party central committee to intervene, but when they declined to act he took the matter to the High Court. His urgent application was heard on Thursday night when the court ordered the party to listen to Marobela’s complaint before they could submit a candidate.
WHAT THIS SPACE AS THE STORY UNFOLDS!
1. Words of advice: Thapelo Olepeng giving disqualified candidate Moswaane words of encouragement
2. This two ladies cried uncrotrolably
3. Diappointed: BDP die hards singing songs of ‘freedom’
4. Making a Point: This BDP lady tried hard to calm the situation
5. Interview: Moswaane giving a television crew an interview