•Political party funding coming
Poor performance by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the 2014 General Elections has forced the ruling party to consider political party funding as part of reforms going forward after repeatedly rejecting the proposal over the years.
The party registered a paltry 46.7 per cent popular vote. In a press briefing held on Tuesday at the party headquarters, BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane revealed that they have mandated their Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) to go and explore possible areas for political and electoral reforms in Botswana. He said that this comes after the congress took a resolution to benchmark on political reforms and the possibility of political party funding. In the past there have been calls by opposition parties for government to introduce political party funding as a way of enhancing democracy as currently the playing ground is not level.
The current consideration is a repeat of the dismal performance in 1994 general elections, after which the party introduced some reforms. Ntuane noted that after their poor performance in 1994, the party held a special congress in 1995 at Sebele where some political reforms were introduced. He acknowledged that his party performed badly and there is need to introspect and evaluate what could have led to poor performance. Some of the reforms that were introduced in 1995 include reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 years and limiting the President’s term to two terms.
On the recent march by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) over the water and power crisis, Ntuane said that it was flop and a political stunt and gimmick that didn’t bring solution to the current situation. “We would like to commend the residents of Gaborone for shunning the march,” said Ntuane.
He said that government is doing its best to solve the power and water crisis as evidenced by President Ian Khama addressing the nation last week on the issue, and demanded an apology from UDC on behalf of the president for the abusive language used by marchers.