Low voter registration as Botswana readies for 2019 poll

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 dicey poll in October this year, APA learnt here Monday.

According to IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba just over 600,000 people eligible to vote in this year’s general elections have registered during the supplementary voter registration exercise that commenced on 17 December 2018.

Over 1.7 million Batswana are eligible to vote in this year’s elections.

The low turnout does not bode well for both the ruling party and the main 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 for the presidency of the party, throwing open the race for the country’s presidency.

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 affiliate members, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), 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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