Botswana’s electoral body rejects calls for 2019 poll audit

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has rejected calls by the opposition Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) to conduct an audit of the outcome of the 2019 general elections.

The BFP, whose patron is former president Ian Khama, wrote to the IEC on 28 February demanding that an audit for last year’s general elections.

This is the second time that the party has requested a recount of the ballots, which it claims were manipulated in favour of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The first time was in a letter sent to the IEC in December 2019.

IEC secretary Keireng Zuze said IEC has no legal obligation to undertake an audit.

“It therefore, becomes a tall order on the IEC for a stakeholder to demand one, unless it had already been conducted,” Zuze said.

She added: “Please note that the conduct of an audit comes at a cost in terms of money, human resources and time which the IEC had not budgeted for. We therefore, regret to inform you that we will not be able to meet your demand.”

The opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change has also accused the BDP of rigging elections with the assistance of IEC and Directorate of Intelligence and Security.

Its challenge of the poll outcome has however been thrown out by the High Court.


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