Botswana: Dwf Hosts a Cross Political Party Engagement in Botswana


  1. Background

As Botswana goes to the polls in October 2024, it is eminent that the electoral contestants themselves, political parties and candidates inclusive, need to have a good understanding of the electoral processes for them to meaningfully engage and contribute to the holding of free and fair elections. Elections are a very important feature in any democracy, as they give a voice to the political will of the people. The right to take part in government directly or through freely chosen representatives is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Right (article 21.1) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 25).

While there are several stakeholders that play an important role in contributing to successful, peaceful and credible elections, it is indisputable that political parties and candidates have a vital role. For them, elections are a period during which they will have the opportunity to not only reaffirm their interest to contest but also to demonstrate the extent to which they represent and reflect the needs and aspirations of the electorate. Thus, to parties and candidates, elections are the climax of competition between and among the electoral contestants in their efforts to win votes. For the citizenry in general, elections are a moment of taking note of the commitments and promises that are being made. In other words, elections are the foundation of the social contract between the parties and candidates on the one hand and the electorate on the other. Such an important democratic exercise demands an environment that fosters inclusivity for all stakeholders and contenders.

Better informed and well capacitated political parties also tend to be well-positioned to constructively engage with other stakeholders in ensuring a successful electoral process. Having political parties that have a good appreciation of the relevant laws and regulations pertaining to elections and electoral process is instrumental in ensuring that such key stakeholders are not only compliant in their engagement with and in the electoral process, but they also become champions in ensuring that the electoral process takes place within and is compliant with the given legal frameworks. Essentially, well-informed and empowered political entities play a pivotal role in upholding electoral integrity, thereby advancing the democratization of their nation.

2. Workshop Objectives

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is implementing the USAID funded Political Parties for Resilient and Inclusive Democracies in Southern Africa (PoPRID) programme, which seeks to support a trend towards to support a trend toward representative multiparty systems with political parties that are responsive to citizens while providing targeted assistance to promote electoral integrity. It is within the framework of this project that DWF is organizing a cross party engagement which seeks to achieve the following objectives:

a) To develop a shared understanding of the political parties' program, its focus and interventions in Botswana.

b) To provide a platform to discuss key issues of importance to political parties, as they prepare for the upcoming elections.

c) To share knowledge on the electoral legal framework and on strategic planning for poll watching, for political parties' meaningful participation in the electoral process.

3. Target Audience

The cross-party workshop will target all registered political parties in Botswana that have also been part of the previous political parties' programme.

Participation is strictly by invitation.

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