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Botswana's Mokgweetsi Masisi Wins Highly Contested Elections
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which has been in power since the country obtained independence in 1966, won 51 percent of the vote.
On Wednesday, the Batswana people headed to the polls to cast their votes for both national parliament and local government councils. At least 931 000 reportedly turned up to the polls to vote in what was described as a highly contested election primarily between the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), under the leadership of President Mokgweetsi Masisi, and the coalition of opposition parties termed the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). News24 reports that the votes have been counted and the BDP secured the minimum 29 seats in parliament required to form a government. While counting is still underway to determine who will secure the remaining 28 seats, Botswana's Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane announced that there were "sufficient results" to announce President Masisi as the winner.
According to The South African, opposition parties have rejected the election results calling them unfair. The UDC alleges that it received complains with regards to "widespread election irregularities" and "unnecessary delays" at several polling stations. While they have 30 days to lodge a formal complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the electoral body reports that it has not received any complaints corroborating the UDC's claims.
Botswana's former president, Ian Khama, left the BDP for the newly-formed Botswana Progressive Front (BPF) a few months ago after falling out with Masisi. Khama has since accused his successor of undermining the country's democracy following a number of changes he made to the policies Khama had put in place during his time in office.
Here are a few responses from Batswana citizens on social media: