June 21, 2004

Independent Electoral Commission blames politicians for voter registration problems

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Executive Secretary, Gabriel Seeletso, has said politicians are to blame for voter trafficking. He told of the fact there were people who gave fake addresses, in most cases, such people were used by politicians. Seeletso also promised that the IEC was going to intensify the training of the elections staff to ensure an efficiently run free and fair elections. He added that the IEC was in the process of organising workshops on the rules and regulations governing the elections, with representatives from all political parties. He said the IEC had consulted the Omang (national identity card) offices, following concerns raised by candidates.

The Omang office has informed the IEC that it has improved the waiting period between submission of applications and actual collection of the identity card, adding that he has been informed that processing did not take more than three weeks. The Omang office revealed that according to their records there were over 1.2 million Batswana who already have identity cards, though the number of registered voters is 505.836. Seeletso furthermore said that the closing date for registration for the 2004 general elections was June 30. He urged candidates to continue encouraging people to use the remaining days to register for elections, adding that following the closing date candidates should encourage the people who have actually registered to vote during the national elections. (Mmegi/The Reporter, Gaborone)


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