The battle for the second position in Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s leadership structure has realistically been narrowed to a four-horse race after one of the contestants, Dithapelo Tshotlego, announced his withdrawal this afternoon.
The 37-year old Tshotlego who is also a former BDP National Youth Executive Committee (BDPNYEC), this afternoon announced that he will be throwing his weight behind Tebelelo Seretse who is among the favourites to snatch the Chairmanship.
Apart from Tebelelo Seretse, other BDP bigwigs seeking election into the party’s second highest office are Biggie Butale, Ramadeluka Seretse and the latest race entrant, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who is hoping to replace his predecessor, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe.
BDP will hold its elective congress on July 10th in Mmadinare and Tshotlego says he decided to quit the chairmanship race after considering his limited resources. “I do not have sufficient resources to put up a winning campaign against other contenders and that is why I decided to withdraw. I have made consultations with all our constituencies and they’ve told me that they have faith in Tebelelo Seretse and I also support her in this campaign as I know that she is very capable. She has served the party diligently and as one of her protégés I believe she is the right person for the job,” he said.
Tshotlego who became a specially elected councilor in Palapye after losing the Morupule ward to BCP in the last general elections has also parried away suggestions that the chairmanship will be decided along factional lines. “Unlike in the past, we do not have any factions within the BDP anymore. We only differ individually when it comes to choice of leadership,” he said.
The youthful politician however admitted that the surfacing of Masisi in the campaign also contributed in squeezing him out of the race. “Like I said, other people are more advantaged than I am because while some of us are laden with heavy traffic fines on the roads, they enjoy the privilege of flying, so there was no way I could stand the chance,” he said.
Tshotlego says he believes more contenders will also fall by the wayside ahead of the congress.