Vice President Slumber Tsogwane says Members of Parliament would live to regret tabling and passing a motion calling for direct election of the president. The motion was tabled by MP for Nata-Gweta Polson Majaga and passed by Parliament last week. Tsogwane told Parliament that it was wrong to have the motion during election year.
According to the vice president political reform is a very critical subject. He pointed out that it is not an easy topic that one can just subject to one while ignoring others.“We have to go and consult the people who have voted us to this Parliament. We cannot leave them behind, come and pass this motion without engaging them, because it is a very critical motion, as I have said, it will bring a lot of changes. We are in an election year, it will create a lot of perceptions,” said Tsogwane who is also MP for Boteti West.
The vice president indicated that when a subject is discussed during such a time, it has the potential of misdirecting some people or changing their focus to something else. “And this is where you experience voter apathy.” He explained that government has just engaged Batswana on another subject related to an election, being the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
“We just dropped it, and now we are coming with another subject in an election year. A person who does not have the same understanding or same level of understanding as you MPs, you have to go and explain this to that person, and tell him or her why you are bringing such a subject during such a time, and what is the intention. “It is not a question of when it is going to be implemented, it is the historical context that we will be creating, and that is what people are going to refer to and start engaging their minds in, and some people are asking themselves a lot of questions,” said Tsogwane when debating the motion.
Tsogwane said it is not a bad motion, but the timing is also very critical, as well as culture and what underpins the country’s democracy. He revealed that he had tried, to engage Majaga regarding the motion, “but conveniently he has avoided me.”
He does not have any qualms with that as it is Majaga’s choice. “I do not have any problem, he should not think that I will think otherwise about him. I am very liberal, so there was no need for him to avoid me because I was going to engage him and consult with him further.”
Tsogwane said the country has just withstood the EVM storm and cannt afford to be distracted by another potentially divisive electoral reform in an elelction year. “We have a system which is serving us well and we want to change it in the election year. What is the urgency of trying to bring this motion now?”