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Boko Wants IEC Autonomy

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Yandani Boko PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko will table a motion before Parliament seeking government to amend the Electoral Act.

However, Botswana Democratic Party chief whip Liakat Kablay said Boko would need to convince Parliament with facts on why the Act needs to be amended.

Boko says they only want the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to be an autonomous body, one that does not fall under the Office of the President (OP).

His belief is that the IEC cannot be independent if the secretary of the commission is still appointed by the President.

“[The] IEC is not independent as it stands because it is under OP. Our aim is to the instill integrity of the elections. It is supposed to have its own independent budget and be able to employ its own staff without interference of any office. For example, the 2019 General Election was a mess and some Batswana were not happy with the way they were conducted. Again, there were reports that there were interferences, something we were not happy about as opposition members. What we want is free and fair elections in the country and that is why we are seeking the amendment of the Act,” Boko said on Saturday.

The other thing the legislator talked about is that the ruling party can issue

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a writ in haste if it thinks it is enjoying support and realising the opposition is in crisis.

“So let’s remove the powers to issue a writ from the President. I do not think the motion will be discussed this week looking at Parliament schedule,” he added.

Kablay said he does not think Boko’s motion will see the light of the day because it is not clear on what he exactly wants amended on the Act.

“The only problem the opposition has, is that they think we cheated them in last elections when in fact they were rejected by the voters. They did not appeal to the voters or sell their manifesto well [enough] to the people. The Act they are criticising now, has helped them to be MPs and at times they increase even their numbers in Parliament,” Kablay said.

He further stressed that the problem with the oppistion was that they gave them too much freedom to an extent of them assuming they were in power.

He said in vernacular: “Mathata a bone ke gore re ba fa freedom e ntsi thata re le puso ee busang jaanong ba akanya gore ke bone babusi.”



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