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Kudos To The UDC

MONITOR EDITOR
One of the basic rights is for citizens to choose their leaders in free, fair and regular elections. Botswana has always been hailed for giving its citizens the right to choose their leaders without fear, even though not entirely fair.

In most elections, there are reports of intimidation, tempering with ballot boxes and unfair coverage by the state media. But compared to other developing democracies, Botswana appears to stand head and shoulder above peers as it’s had been holding elections for the past 52 years without fail. 

While the opposition parties have complained in the past that the elections are not free and fair, international observers have always had a different take. There have been a few Court cases over the years and no serious disagreements over election results have occurred.

Other countries have experienced violence during the elections, but Botswana at least can pride itself in being able to hold peaceful polls. Tlokweng constituency held by-elections on Saturday, which were necessitated by the passing of its representative, the late Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) MP, Same Bathobakae. Tlokweng is one predictable area whch analysts had already predicted it will be in the hands of the UDC, as it has always been an opposition stronghold.

There were talks the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) tried using money to

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sway voters, but all efforts seem to have failed as the UDC candidate, Masego Segokgo, won the constituency with a big margin. He got a whooping 4,635 votes, while the BDP’s Elijah Katse gained 2,156 and an independent, Shirley Segokgo got an embarrassing 57 votes. Parties did not leave anything to chance as they engaged in serious campaigns.

In the end, it can be safely stated that the best contender won, and the people of Tlokweng have spoken. While there have not been reports of any major problems during the elections, and counting, there are reports of at least two individuals who failed to vote because their names did not appear on the voters’ roll.

While it doesn’t seem like the two votes would have made much of a difference on either side, they were however denied their constitutional right to vote. The Independent Electoral Commission promised to investigate the matter. All those who took part in the elections should be applauded, from the contenders to campaign team to voters, because every vote counts.



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