Botswana post-poll petition hearings kick-off

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

The Gaborone High Court on Friday began hearing petitions in which the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is challenging the outcome of Botswana’s October 23 general elections in a development that has captured the attention of a restive populace keen to bring closure to the disputed polls.

The UDC alleges that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party connived with the Independent Electoral Commission to rig the elections.

The opposition party has filed 16 parliamentary election petitions, which are being heard by a panel of three judges.

Addressing petitioners, one of the judges, Omphemetse Motumise, explained that they plan to deal with the petitions as expeditiously and cost effectively as possible.

“We will try the election petitions within the statutory 90 days as per the Independent Electoral Commission Act (IEC Act),” he said.

Motumise said the judges have blocked their diaries to complete the petitions and called upon lawyers for the contesting parties to do likewise so that they are available all the time.

He further called upon all stakeholders to ensure that their paperwork is in order so as not to delay the process.


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