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Issue 110 30/10/2019
BOTSWANA ELECTION 2019
Botswana’s political system is often held up as an example of stability, peace and institutional strength on the continent. Its only major flaw, perhaps, being that it is somewhat too predictable. Indeed, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has run the diamond-rich country of two million people since independence (1966) and, as the recent general election results suggest, that streak of form is not likely to end anytime soon. However, boring is not the qualifier one would use to describe the country’s recent politics. A rift between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama (son of the BDP’s founder and the country’s first president Sir Seretse Khama) led the latter to leave the party, establish the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and throw his weight behind the opposition alliance of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Prior to the polls, pundits had argued that a BDP victory was anything but certain and that an era of coalition government could be dawning.

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