News and Information

Botswana ruling party triumphs
November 1, 2004
Botswana's ruling party has won general elections, giving President Festus Mogae a second term in office.

The Botswana Democratic Party, which has ruled the country since independence in 1966, took 44 of the 57 parliamentary seats.

The fragmented opposition divided the vote, and the opposition Botswana National Front won just 12 seats.

Botswana is one of the few African states to sustain a multi-party system since independence 38 years ago.

Observers said the poll was free and fair, despite opposition complaints about the registration procedures for the half a million voters.

Voting was brisk and trouble-free, said officials, and turnout was reported to be high.

Advertising campaign

The BBC's Letlhogile Lucas in the capital, Gaborone, says both the BDP and opposition parties left nothing to chance.

For the first time, all parties used billboards, along with television, radio and press adverts during the campaign.

But analysts say the opposition parties were in many cases competing over the same votes - handing the BDP an easy victory.

Botswana is Africa's longest continuous multi-party democracy.

Voters elect the National Assembly, which then elects the president.

One of the world's biggest diamond producers, Botswana is among Africa's most stable countries.

It is relatively free of corruption, and has a good human rights record.


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