The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says only an adverse court decision will stop it from implementing the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) systems in future elections.
“Whilst the ongoing public debate on recent electoral amendments is appreciated, IEC is duty-bound to implement the Electoral Amendment Act, 2016 as is until there are further amendments or there is a court decision ordering the commission to stall implementation,” IEC public relations officer, Osupile Maroba told Mmegi.
He said the IEC would therefore continue to educate the general public on all the new electoral reforms and would keep engaging all stakeholders on the same reforms in an endeavour to promote knowledge.
The IEC spokesperson said it appreciates that the introduction of new technology in any process will always trigger questions and concerns manifested through social media.
“The social dialogue is a democratic process that IEC respects and supports as it triggers introspection into processes and encourages further improvements on technological gatekeeping to ensure efficiency and trust in the process,”
The IEC maintains that the 2014 general elections stakeholder evaluation workshop made recommendations that Botswana should adopt electronic voter registration and electronic voting and should consider the use of technology in the next general elections in 2019.
It says the normal statutory process of amending laws in Botswana started as soon as the recommendations were acceded to by the Government.
Maroba said all the 23 recommendations produced from the 2014 general elections stakeholder evaluation workshop were submitted to the executive by the IEC for appreciation and decision-making.
However, last week the IEC secretary, Keireng Zuze told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that removal of supplementary registration was done by executive powers.
Zuze said the IEC has proposed to Cabinet that there is need for a paper trail for the EVM, which would cost an extra P66 million.