Botswana: Ruling party holds crisis meeting to avert split

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has called an emergency meeting to avert a looming split, as infighting over leadership in the party intensifies.

The likelihood of a breakup is gathering pace following a decision by former president Ian Khama to publicly endorse former minister, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, who is challenging current President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the party’s presidential position.

Venson-Moitoi is currently leading a faction of the BDP that goes by the name New Jerusalem, and it has launched campaigns across the country.

In a statement, BDP secretary general Mpho Balopi said: “Party President Mokgweetsi Masisi in consultation and in agreement with the Central Committee has given directions that prevailing circumstances dictate that the party must hold a Botswana Democratic Party National retreat on Saturday 2nd February 2019.”

While Balopi was not in a position to expand on the “prevailing circumstances”, it is understood that he was referring to the internal strive currently prevailing within the party.

“The retreat is intended to create dialogue on the preparedness of the party for the 2019 general elections. Those who are to attend are all sitting Members of Parliament, all 2019 BDP Members of Parliament candidates, all sitting BDP councilors and council candidates for 2019 and veterans of the party,” announced Balopi.


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