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The battle for Bobonong

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Lucas’ historic win # 20 years hard work or the Khama effect?

20 years after he first contested for the constituency, in which time he endured four consecutive defeats, the Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Taolo Lucas has finally tasted victory in Bobonong.

His triumph sees Bobonong fall into opposition hands for the first time in the constituency’s history.

In the end, Lucas carved his name into the history books by just 850 votes, piping the Botswana for Democratic Party’s (BDP) Francisco Kgoboko to the post by 8953 votes to 8103.

He has since attributed his success to two decades of tireless campaigning and hard work, topped up by a little recent assistance from former President, Ian Khama.

Speaking to The Voice on the morning of the election, moments after casting his vote, an upbeat Lucas confidently predicted it would be ‘fifth time lucky’ in his quest for parliament.

“When I first arrived in the area some five elections ago, it was BDP all over. But we have since managed to tame it to an extent that that in the past elections it beat us with only 120 votes! But this time around I am confident of a win – and not just winning but with a big margin!” he declared on October 23.

His confidence proved to be well placed.

Quizzed about enrolling Khama on his campaign trail, Lucas maintained there was nothing wrong with working with the former BDP leader as he was assisting the UDC to ‘weaken’ the ruling party.

“Khama is helping us to kill BDP, who can refuse such free assistance?” he asked rhetorically.

Lucas went on to describe the BDP as broken, as evidenced by Khama’s departure from the party his dad helped form.

However, his prophecy that BDP would crumble in the general elections was well wide of the mark.

The ruling party retained power with unexpected ease, claiming 38 of Botswana’s 57 constituencies whilst the UDC took 15.

Ultimately though, this did not dampen Lucas’ delight.

Two days after being declared the winner and Bobonong’s new Member of Parliament, he credited his victory to 20 years of hard work.

“I worked very hard for the last 20 years and I think people began to appreciate that I can bring a difference and that made them vote for me ahead of other candidates. It was not easy due to lack of resources!” he said.

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