Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Friday said President Mokgweetsi Masisi has instructed the general elections in the country to be held on Oct. 23 this year, reported CGTN. The announcement comes after President Masisi dissolved parliament on Wednesday.
At least six political parties are expected to contest in the October poll, including the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the main opposition party Umbrella for Democratic Change.
Osupile Maroba, the IEC public relations officer, said the election candidates will register at the designated nomination center of each constituency and polling district on Sept. 26. He said the winners of the general elections will fill the 57 national assembly vacancies and 490 local government positions.
President Masisi will be running for his first full mandate in the upcoming election. He succeeded his predecessor Ian Khama in 2018 after he resigned more than a year before the scheduled end of his term. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has ruled Botswana since independence, picked Masisi as its Presidential candidate in April.
In related news, the African Union (AU) on Friday urged its member states to be proactive and take necessary measures towards the conduct of a successful electoral process and also address the possible post-election disputes.
In an official statement released on Friday, the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc deliberated on elections in Africa within the period spanning from January to December 2019.
The Council discussed reports on member states, including, Benin, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa, as well as on the constitutional referendum in Egypt and on upcoming elections in Algeria, Botswana, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tunisia.
The AU encouraged member States to create conducive conditions for effective participation of women, youth, vulnerable groups and people living with disabilities, in the elections and called out the AU Commission to have full transparency in the selection of the AU Observation Mission teams.