IEC transparency questioned


the voters registration period which officially kick-starts the election cycle is a prerequisite to casting a valid ballot but this year it started in a most dramatic fashion with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) postponing the period at the last minute.

This follows the High Court’s decision to authorise the Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) to observe the exercise, which was supposed to run from November 1-30, 2023. Election officials are responsible for maintaining accurate and complete voter registration rolls. But this time around the 11 year-old opposition outfit wants access to polling stations in order to observe the registration, a move the IEC does not allow. The registration period has been postponed and will now run from November 13 to December 8, 2023. The IEC is currently preparing to object to the UDC’s quest to have their registration clerks monitor the registration as the two warring parties return to court on November 7.

Before the IEC postponed the registration, Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe of the Francistown High Court issued a rule nisi calling on the IEC and other interested parties to show cause on November 7, 2023 why the UDC registration clerks should be interdicted and restrained from monitoring the national elections registration process. The court decision meant that the UDC observers were supposed to temporarily start their observation today until the court’s final determination on November 7. The court order was to allow the UDC clerks to record the names and national identity card numbers of the people registering to vote and record the serial numbers of the people registering to vote. In addition, the UDC agents were to be allowed to record the serial numbers of the registration booklets for each and every registration day at the opening and closing thereof.

Editor's Comment
Bravo police for prompt action

It is also hurting that whilst we all know that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) is charged functionally with the duties to investigate all forms of crime, some locals have resorted to taking the law into their own hands. It is very wrong to do that. There is also a possibility that one may wrongfully take the life of a person in the process, unless it is a justifiable case of self-defence. Recently, in the city of Francistown, some locals found...

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