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President Mokgwetsi Masisi
President Mokgwetsi Masisi

BDP retains power

In a historic upset that has changed the political geography of Botswana, President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi was on Thursday night leading the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to a stunning victory in the general elections.

On Friday morning election results that were coming in from various polling stations across the country were indicating that the BDP was comfortably surging to victory and defying history by taking key constituencies fom opposition parties strongholds in urban areas, especially in Gaborone where the ruling party won majority seats in council.

BDP also unseated UDC president Duma Boko in Gaborone Bonnington North and Alliance for Progressives President Ndaba Gaolathe in Bonnigton South.

Plagued by his predecessor, accused by his opponents and betrayed by some members of his own party, Masisi’s party was ultimately backed by the people.

The 58-year-old Moshupa native will now resume his role as the nation’s fifth President.

Masisi has made promises to fight rampant corruption in Botswana during his relentless campaign to make Botswana a better place. Only time will tell if he keeps them.

Big guns bite the dust

However, with opposition leader Duma Boko vowing to challenge the election’s outcome should he feel ‘the integrity of the vote was not assured’ – and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have already indicated they believe it would be rigged – a potential hurricane waits ominously in the wings.

Duma Boko, Ndaba Gaolathe, Dorcas Makgato

Indeed, in an emotional press conference on Monday, a visibly frustrated Boko said, “If we establish that fraud took place, the law is clear. You can file an election petition and challenge the outcome!”

The UDC further warned the legal route might not be enough to appease the people.

“Because of the emotive nature of these elections and the expectations of a whole nation hanging on this outcome – they want change – I don’t think they might be as patient as to wait for a judicial process.

“When people get angry and they realise the authorities are acting with impunity and cannot deliver justice or freeness and fairness in an election the people might then decide to go other routes. I’m not saying they will but I shudder to imagine what could happen if they did!”

For now though, as they have ever since Botswana gained independence, BDP rule the roost.

The winds of change that looked set to blow through the country are still……for now!

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