Botswana: Lowest levels of registration undermine elections

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revealed that it is far from reaching its target of 1 273 880 registration of eligible voters, as the Southern African nation heads to a poll in October this year.

According to IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba, just over 600 hundred people eligible to vote in this year’s general elections have registered during the supplementary voter registration which commenced on the 17th December last year.

Over 600 hundred people had registered to vote against a target of 1.7 million people eligible to vote in this year’s elections.

The low turnout does not bode well for both the ruling party and opposition. A faction within President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) intends to topple him from the party’s presidency.

For the first time, a challenger in the form of former Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has appeared to bid for the presidency of the party, throwing open the ultimate race for the country’s presidency - assuming the ruling party wins the general elections in October.

On the other hand, the opposition coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) led by attorney Duma Boko is facing a lawsuit from one of its members, Botswana Movement for Democracy, which was expelled late last year over its refusal to share allocated constituencies with other members of UDC. There are fears that the BMD lawsuit may prevent opposition from contesting as a bloc.


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