Botswana Poll - Ruling BDP Faces First Serious Challenge in 53 Years

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been declared the winner of the 2019 election.
analysis

The Wednesday election is widely regarded as the tightest in history for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party which has been ruling the southern African nation since gaining independence from Britain in 1966.

Botswana nationals headed to the polls on Wednesday 23 October 2019 after several months of heated campaigning marked by a fight between former president Ian Khama and President Mokgweetsi Masisi, his successor at the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

About 931,000 of the country's 2.2-million people registered to vote in the parliamentary and local elections.

Before this vote, it's been largely a given that the BDP will win, as it has done in the past 11 elections. But Khama's sudden departure from the party in early 2019 has since brought uncertainty not just to the usual BDP victories, but also to the peace and stability of the landlocked nation.

Following the vote, acceptance of the result has been seen as a key test of Botswana's democracy -- largely perceived as "Africa's shining example" over the past several decades.

While Khama's storming out of the BDP is seen as one of the key determinants of the vote in some parts of the country, other voters certainly used a different...

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