Botswana Democratic Party [BDP] special committee on election appeals has dealt a big blow to the efforts of Tonota legislator Pono Moatlhodi to have a re-run of the party’s primaries for the constituency.
Moatlhodi who lost the BDP primaries to Thapelo Olopeng appealed the results citing irregularities especially the vote trafficking by his opponent. Though the verdict has not yet been communicated to Moatlhodi, an authoritative source within the BDP has revealed that the appeal has been dismissed on the basis that there is no tangible proof on what the deputy speaker has cited as irregularities.
“The BDP constitution is silent on the issue of vote trafficking and about the disposal of voting papers and membership cards, so the issue that some membership cards were found dumped at Tonota Primary School was outrightly dismissed,’’ said the source.
Contacted for comment, Moatlhodi said that he was not aware of the verdict as the committee promised to communicate with them within two weeks, “but up to now they have not said anything to us.” The maverick MP did not say what his next move would be if the verdict comes negative. Moatlhodi lost by 2 196 votes against Olopeng’s 3 472 votes.
Since then there have been talks in Tonota that some disgruntled BDP members want Moatlhodi to contest as an independent in the general election. Efforts to get comment from the BDP secretary general Mpho Balopi were futile at the time of going to press.