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UDC wipes out BCP

Publishing Date : 21 April, 2016



  • UDC makes inroads in Botswana politics
  • Party retains Gaborone City Council
  • BOFEPUSU’s UDC support brings results
  • BDP maintains grip of power

The much-talked about opposition coalition,Umbrella for Democratic Change,UDC has shocked many, wiping out both their counterpart ,Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and rival party, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the Gaborone area and several other constituencies.

The gains by the UDC mean that the party will continue to lead Gaborone City Council (GCC) ending several attempts by the BDP to topple them prior to the elections. The party has also managed to throw in several councillors in different District Councils.

The BCP and the UDC had entered into a war of words over the Umbrella project and many said that the main contest doesn’t involve the BDP but these two parties. Results have shown that the UDC, which enjoyed the backing of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has proved its worth, winning several seats parliamentary and local government seats.

The union recently declared war on the BCP for allegedly betraying the opposition parties’ cooperation  project.  The Federation said it wanted to end the BDP’s alleged abuse of the working class. The BCP had said they are ready for any post-elections cooperation. But the defeat has eroded any bargaining power that the BCP could have harboured.

It is not clear what the way forward for the divided union will be. While the pro-hit list leaders would have loved to see their initiative succeed, for the anti-hit list, it may as well be a classic case of ‘we told you so.’ There have been concerns that the Federation could face a tough life post the elections owing to its pre-election position against the ruling party.

The relationship between the Federation and the ruling party will dominate relations going forward. While some predict sour relations following the union’s massive and sustained support for the UDC, some observers say it may be the perfect time for the BDP to redeem itself following a torturous and uncertain elections year owing to the people’s anger.

The results indicate that the BCP  has suffered a major setback losing grip on several seats accross the country.

Batswana of an alternative view chose to rally behind the UDC which launched a very strong campaign in the home run. It focused on the ground or contact campaign and in social media. The BDP has not dissapointed either, proving that it is still a force to reckon with, winning several seats contrary to popular believe that this elections might lead to a hung parliament.
The opposition parties had already agreed to work together in case of a hung parliament.

The UDC has expressed excitement at their perfomance as a new comer. The loss of the BCP and that of its senior members of Parliament has been a cause for celebration for the UDC. While some observers say this may signal the end of BCP others posit that it is too early to tell.



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?