BOTSWANA VOTES


Voters in Botswana are going to the polls amid a deep recession in the world’s largest diamond producer.

The global slowdown means gem sales have fallen and some Botswana diamond mines closed earlier this year.

However, President Ian Khama is expected to be returned to office as the opposition is divided.

Botswana is seen as one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries, even though only one party has been in power since independence in 1966.

The son of Botswana’s first president, Mr Khama faces his first democratic test since becoming Botswana Democratic Party leader some 18 months ago.

He is credited with being decisive but also criticised for being dogmatic.

BBC southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen says Botswana’s over-dependence on diamonds for its export earnings and tax revenIAN KHAMAues, as well as jobs and human rights will all be issues that influence voters.

Recent moves to slap a 30% levy on alcohol, clamp down on the media and impose strict discipline on party dissidents has led to criticism that President Khama is too authoritarian, our correspondent adds.

Mr Khama, 56, has roundly dismissed the charges, and says he is just a man motivated by delivery.

Splits within the ruling party are expected to see its overall support base decline, but the opposition is equally fractured.

Mr Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party won 44 of the 57 seats at the last election in 2004.

The other seats were won by the main opposition Botswana National Front and the Botswana Congress Party.

A party needs at least 29 seats to be able to choose the president.

Some 725,000 voters are registered from a population of 1.9 million people

SOURCED FROM BBC

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: