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UDC to revise constituency allocation

Publishing Date : 06 March, 2018

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) President, Duma Boko has revealed that contrary to assertions by some parties within the umbrella that they will field their own candidates, UDC is working on a robust model of identifying competent candidates to represent the party in the 57 constituencies in the 2019 general elections.


“The constituencies belong to the UDC and are allocated to the parties to manage and choose the best candidates. Even after each party elects their preferred candidate, we will scrutinize the candidates and replace those we deem not fit enough by those we think can win it for us from any party under the UDC,” he said.


The umbrella party according to Boko is looking for the best candidates in all the constituencies and will not be intimidated by the incumbent party in respective constituencies. “UDC will have to audit what their prospects are in various constituencies to see if we have the best candidates, if not we will look from others within the umbrella and if they are available then we will take them to represent the party.”


Boko was nonetheless not specific as to which party may not have competent candidates. “We need competent representatives; merit only. There is what is called meritocracy and that is exactly what we will do. Even the BNF will have to audit itself to see if we have the best candidates to represent the party,” Boko highlighted. The issue of who is going to contest where has already gained momentum within the UDC and the president has conceded they are still in negotiations.


Already BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando is running around searching for a constituency. It appears Maun East is the ideal area as the incumbent party-BMD is yet to come up with the ‘best’ candidate in the words of Boko and it is much possible that the UDC leadership could negotiate with the party to field Saleshando there as the best candidate to contest in 2019.


Boko said unlike the ruling BDP which has reached ‘sunk-base’, UDC as an alternative wants to be a different party that is based on competency. “You see the BDP appoints cronies and friends and ignore competent people because they are not in their party. So that is why we want the best candidates that will lead government authorities.”


UDC will look for candidates who possess at least a bachelor’s degree as they are adaptable and flexible and can perform any issue at hand. The party, according to Boko will not look for hungry representatives looking for employment in parliament. “Only people with a proven track-record of their socio-economic background; have charm for voters and have expertise on certain areas that can rescue us and contribute ideas.”


The current crop of BDP legislators are insufficient hence the country is stagnant with ideas that can move the country forward, Boko suggests. On the other hand BMD has hit the ground running in preparations for the 2019 elections in its 14 constituencies. “As the negotiations and discussions on wards sharing and allocation continues at our 14 UDC given constituencies and all other UDC constituencies allocated to the UDC contracting parties, we encourage our members to carry with them at all times the spirit of unity, the essence of sharing and the respect of territorial integrity so as to ensure unity within the UDC,” mouthpiece Winfred Rasina said in a statement.


The UDC will meet for its congress on the 24th of next month in Moshupa and the issue of constituencies will once again take centre stage before the leadership finalizes it at a later date. The party constitution will further be adopted at the said congress. Already, the NEC has been slashed to 16-scrapping the conveners with all contracting parties having equal representation of four members.


BOKO ON NEW PARTIES

Boko believes that cropping of new political parties aides BDP to maintain power. “It should be a two horse race: moribund BDP and the resurgent UDC,” he said with a smile. “If not so it appears they support what the BDP is doing”. On Alliance for Progressives (AP) Boko said, “We want to be a united force in 2019 and if they want to join we are available subject to negotiations,” the sophisticated leader said before adding, “I understand the new party (Real Alternative Party) is a socialist and if they want to join us we have a room for them as group members and they can affiliate to UDC through us. They can complicate things if individually they would want to join the UDC because time has gone.”

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