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The Electoral System

Legal Basis

Consitution of Botswana.


Electoral Act, 1986 as amended (especially 1998).

Electoral System

Parliamentary Elections: Single member pluralty, first-past-the-post system multiparty elections.
Presidential Elections: President is elected by each newly elected National Assembly.

Electoral Period Parliamentary elections every five years.
Electoral Institutions Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Secretary to the State.
Functions of Electoral Institutions IEC: Is to conduct and sopervise elections efficiently, freely and fairly, and to supervise the Secretary.
Independence of Electoral Insitutions IEC: Members appointed by Judicial Service Commission. No provision for their removal (but see Section 65A).
Secretary: Appointed by the President, but answerable to IEC.
Demarcation The Judicial Service Commission appoints a Demarcation Commission (DC) consisting of a chair and up to four other members. The DC is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in the exercise of its functions. The DC reports to the President and constituancies are redemarked every five-to-ten years. There are 58 Parliamentary Constituancies.
Voter Registration Continuous Registration. Conducted by Constituncy Registration Officers controlled by the Secretary; required to present national identification and fill-in a declaration of eligibility and receives a voter card. Non-residents may be registered in their previous constituancy of residence or constituancy of birth.
Voter Education Although the IEC is not tasked by law with voter education the IEC has set civic and voter education as one of its four goals.
Nomination of Candidates Parliamentary Elections: Candidates are nominated by means of a nomination paper signed by nine voters and the payment of a deposit.
Presidential Elections: Nominations must be accompanied by the endorsements of 1,000 registered voters.
Funding of political parties No provision for public funding is made. Limits are placed on the amount a candidate may spend and donations must be disclosed. After elections candidates must give account of all donations and monies spent.
Election campaign No codes of conduct are issued by the IEC governing the political activities of parties and candidates. Campaigning is prohibited on election day.
Communication No codes of conduct are issued by the IEC governing party access to public media. According to news reports a code of conduct was issued by the National Broadcasting Board.
Counting After the close of the poll, ballot boxes are sealed by the Presiding Officer, as well as by the candidates or their election agents, and sent to the returning officer. The returning officer and electoral staff count the votes in the presence of the party agents.
Announcement of results The returning officer declares the result in the counting station forwards the result to the Secretary and all the documentation to the Registrar of the High Court.
Conflict resolution Election pentitions are heard by the High Court. Pentitions must be submitted within 30 days of the announcement of the result disputed against. If pentitions are withdrawn the costs devolve on the pentitioner.
Election monitoring Observers are accredited by the IEC, and issued with a code of conduct.
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