18 March 2019

Botswana: Voter Registration Declines in Selebi Phikwe

Selebi Phikwe — Selebi Phikwe Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) office has observed a decline in voter registration in the town's two constituencies.

Principal elections officer, Ms Christina Sesinyi said in an interview that IEC registered a total of 7 366 voters in Selebi Phikwe East during the general voter registration compared to 9 739 voters who registered for the 2014 general elections.

The commission further registered 400 people during the ongoing supplementary registration, increasing the number of registered voters to 7 766 for Selebi Phikwe East constituency.

Ms Sesinyi said Selebi Phikwe West was the most affected, having registered a total of 6 627 voters, compared to 10 233, who registered for the 2014 general elections.

She said in the 2014 voter registration, the commission registered 19 972 voters for both Selebi Phikwe east and west, but the number had since declined to 14 393.

She attributed the decline to several factors, mainly the closure of BCL Mine, since a lot of mine workers resided in that constituency. Ms Sesinyi said voters indicated that they could not register due to the uncertainties of their whereabouts during elections since they might relocate. She said some expressed their unhappiness with the closure of the mine, hence did not see the reason to participate in the upcoming general elections.

Other reasons, she said were lack of interest due to non-delivery by elected representatives and lack of information.

Ms Sesinyi further said the commission has had voters showing interest to transfer to where they relocated to, but were informed that transfers could only be done after certification of the voters roll.

However, she said IEC was continuing to provide voter education and had also intensified voter mobilisation meetings with key stakeholders through the Party Liaison Committee.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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