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Botswana to Administer Credible Vote, Says Election Commission

The Executive Secretary of Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says the electoral body is fully prepared to administer credible parliamentary and local government elections on Friday.

"I can confirm that all the materials have reached 2,606 polling stations….Yesterday all the materials had left the constituency headquarters,” said electoral chief Gabriel Seeletso.

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Seeletso said the IEC has addressed concerns opposition party concerns over the recently compiled voters list that would be used for the elections.

“Voters have been given the opportunity to inspect the roll [register]…I can tell you that whichever mistakes might appear on the roll were those that were a result of a lack of proper inspection by the voters. But we have done all that is humanly possible for its use in the election. I can tell you that in our roll..doesn’t have many mistakes… to discredit the quality of our elections,” said Seeletso.

He expressed confidence that the general election would be free, transparent and credible, and meet international standards.

“Our elections are run by men and women of substance. The people we engage are people who are accountable and love their country. So, I’m confident that the elections will certainly be credible,” said Seeletso.

“Elections in our country are based on the legal framework that is in place. So, it is not a question of what one wishes to see, but what the law dictates for them,” he said.

Some opposition political parties have accused President Ian Khama’s governing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of intimidation and using state resources to campaign ahead of the vote, which they said gives the BDP undue advantage during the election. Officials of the BDP denied the charges.

Seeletso called on Batswana -- as the people of Botswana are called – to cast their ballot and to remain calm as the IEC collates the results of the poll.

“I want to tell Batswana that elections are a partnership between us as the election management body and them as voters. Should they see anything that they feel is not in accordance with the law, we will be in the office…They can call and that will be brought to the attention of the commission which will instantly attend to that,” said Seeletso.