BOTSWANA: President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi has announced the launch of voter registration today in preparation for the general election to be held later this year.

In a media statement Masisi has called all Botswana citizens above 18 years to register as voters. The general election will be held on a date yet to be announced but before October 2024.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said the registration would go on upto February 3. The country has 1,800 polling stations.

This process was postponed two times in November 2023 after Botswana’s main opposition party, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) moved to court seeking to be allowed to have registrations observers across the country. The petition was allowed by the High Court but overturned by the court of Appeal.

In Botswana voters only elect 57 members of parliament which comprises of 65 members, for a term of 5 years.

Each parliamentary candidate declares the Presidentialcandidate he or she endorses for president, when presenting nomination papers. The Presidential candidate who will receive most endorsements from the elected MPs, automatically becomes the President.

This means by electing a certain parliamentary candidate, the voter elects the endorsed Presidential candidate by implication. The President is therefore, usually the leader of the party with majority MPs.

If no presidential candidate gets a majority of endorsements, the 57 elected members of the National Assembly elects the president by simple majority. And if no Presidential candidate is elected after three votes, the National Assembly is automatically dissolved.

Upon being elected, the President then nominates six MPs who are elected by the assembly. The President and the House Speak are ex officio members bringing the number to 65.

President Masisis 62, is the fifth President of Botswana, elected in 2018. He also served as the 8th Vice President of Botswana from November 12, 2014 to April 1, 2018 and as MP for Moshupa-Manyana constituency from 2009 to 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *