|30. Oktober 2014
BDP wins elections
General elections were held in Botswana on 24 October 2014. The result was an eleventh straight victory for the Botswana Democratic Party, which won 37 of the 57 elected seats. Incumbent President Ian Khama was sworn in for a second term on 28 October.
In November 2013 three opposition parties, the Botswana National Front, the Botswana People's Party and the Botswana Movement for Democratic Change formed the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) alliance. A total of 192 candidates contested the elections. The Botswana Democratic Party was the only party to contest all 57 seats; the Botswana Congress Party had 54 candidates and the Umbrella for Democratic Change put forward 52, whilst there were also 29 independents.
The UDC accused Khama of being increasingly authoritarian. In response, Khama ran on a platform pledging change.
On 25 October, Botswana's election commission said that the Democratic Party had won 33 of the parliament's seats. Though vote counting had not been completed, the preliminary results were enough to confirm the Democratic Party had won a majority (at least 29) of the seats, though at a slimmer margin than in the previous election. Botswana's Chief Justice, Maruping Dibotelo, subsequently issued a statement on 26 October confirming the BDP's victory, saying that "the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) garnered at least 29 of the 57 parliamentary seats" in the election. The electoral commission subsequently said that the BDP had won a total of 37 seats, with the UDC winning 17 and the BCP three. A further four seats will be filled by candidates selected by Parliament, with the president and attorney general filling the last two in the 63-seat chamber. The MPs will select the country's next president, widely expected to be Khama for a second term of five years.
An estimated 800,000 people voted in the election, representing a high turnout in a country with a population of two million and 824,000 registered voters. Preliminary results showed that the two opposition parties had been most successful in urban areas of the country and attracted younger voters who disapproved of President Khama's handling of the economy, while the BDP retained its rural support.
(IEC Botswana, Gaborone)