Ruling party wins Botswana election


The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won the general election securing 29 national assembly seats, representing 51% of the vote, the chief justice announced.

Botswana voted on Wednesday to elect 57 national assembly and 490 local government representatives, with the candidate of the winning party set to become president.

“Although vote counting is still ongoing, the number of parliament seats attained so far by the BDP obliges me to declare Mokgweetsi Masisi the elected president of Botswana,” said Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane.

The main opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), secured 13 seats while the Botswana Patriotic Front won three and the Alliance for Progressive one, with 73% of voting districts counted so far.

The BDP will now have to move to transform the economy. Since independence from Britain in 1966 the Botswana economy has grown at eight percent a year to become one of Africa’s most successful, but is now at risk of coming unstuck due to over-reliance on a single commodity – diamonds.

Masisi (58) is standing on his record of tackling corruption, such as making declaration of assets obligatory for public sector officials. He also oversaw a reduction in bureaucracy for small businesses.

“We are going to tackle the challenges the country is facing. Improving the value chain of our national products, whether it’s tourism or minerals,” Masisi said after voting on Wednesday in his home village Moshupa.

“This will help us achieve our goal of migrating towards a high-income country.”