Botswana Braces For High Stakes Elections
12 October 2019
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Seretse Ian Khama (L) shakes hands with Mokgweetsi Masisi

Paul Nyathi|Botswana’s former president, Ian Khama, is vigorously campaigning against his successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi after forming a breakaway party following policy differences. 

The elections will take place on October 23 where Masisi will run for the presidential race for the first time, he came to power in April 2018 succeeding Ian Khama, who had served the maximum 10 years. 

The Independent Electoral Commission has set dates for the diaspora and election officers and police officers. Batswana living outside the country will vote at all designated external polling stations on 12 October 2019.

Elections officers and police officers who will be on duty at polling stations on polling day will vote on 19 October 2019 at constituency headquarters. Botswana will hold general elections on 23 October.

Meanwhile in an interesting development, a voter in the diaspora would be allowed to vote for both council and parliamentary candidates. Historically, voters based outside the country are allowed to vote for only parliamentary candidates.

High Court Judge Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa has ordered that the IEC should allow and facilitate for a Mr Bakotelo Mmipi to vote for council and parliamentary candidates of his choice in London, the United Kingdom.

Mmipi had taken the IEC and its secretary to court on an urgent application for declining to allow him to vote for a council candidate after he transferred his polling station from Lerala-Maunatlala in the central part of Botswana to the UK.