Alliance for Progressives (AP) is yet to decide whether to participate in the pending parliamentary bye-election in Mochudi East Constituency and the Council bye-election in Ralekgetho Ward at Moshupa- Manyana Constituency.
The bye-election in Ralekgetho ward is as a result of the passing on of the youthful councillor Gofentseone Rakala early last month while in Mochudi East it follows the murder of area Member of Parliament Isaac Davids. They were both members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). AP Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi told this publication that as the party leadership they have not taken a decision on the matter. He revealed that the party is still working on its calendar of events for this year.
“We met this past weekend as the leadership in our first meeting of 2018 where we discussed various issues. We could not conclude our programme and we are going to meet again on the night of Wednesday this week to finalise our calendar,” said Mmolotsi who is also MP for Francistown South.
Mmolotsi said after finalising their calendar the party will be in a position to reveal if it will contest the bye-election. He explained that one of their biggest coming events is the Annual Policy Statement delivered by party leader Ndaba Gaolathe. According to Mmolotsi the event which was scheduled for yesterday (Thursday) in Mogoditshane is expected to answer all the commonly asked questions about AP. “This is where all the questions that the public have been having about our party will be answered. It is also at the forum where we would discuss all policy matters and how we see the future,” said Mmolotsi.The party which was formed last year mostly by former members of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has been on a massive recruitment drive targeting 100 000 members. However, indications are that the party may not contest as it is still building its structures and its numbers in these constituencies are still low.
Those close to the party have alluded to the possibility of the AP informally pledging its support for UDC during the election even though the two political movement have their differences.
This would not be the first time an opposition party informally supports one of its rival as this was once adopted by the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the past when it called on its supporters to rally behind a UDC candidate Rakala won the 2014 general election with 291 votes against BCP’s Johnson Mmare who managed 270 votes and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Gaokgakala Mosope getting 218 votes.
In the 2014 general election the late Mochudi East MP Davids garnered 6 824 votes to defeat three opponents being Isaac Mabiletsa of BCP 4 528, BDP Mpho Moruakgomo’s 5 941 and an independent candidate Japhta Radibe who got 159.