The voter registration crisis for 2024 General Election

Your Excellency, 1.1 I write you this letter with respect to the above subject matter in my capacity as the President of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and on the instructions from its Central Committee. 1.2 As you know, the BCP is a duly registered political party with a direct and substantial interest in a free, fair and credible electoral process. One of the essential components of such a process is a timely and orderly voter registration process that is transparent. 1.3 The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced a voter registration exercise that was to take place from October 4, 2023 to October 32, 2023. The Commission postponed the registration on account of its lack of readiness to undertake the exercise. There have been two further postponements announced with the last one being indefinite as the matter is before the High Court. This situation has never happened before and will undoubtedly adversely affect the registration process, with the possibility that some Batswana may not be able to register for the elections over and above creation of voter apathy.

1.4 As things stand, we are behind schedule with the registration process and do not know when the process will commence and the duration over which it will take place. If this issue is not resolved soon, it is likely to cast a dark shadow over the entire electoral process leading to an election outcome whose credibility may be questionable.

1.5 The BCP believes that political parties are the primary stakeholders in the electoral process in a multi-party constitutional democracy. All the political parties that contest elections wish to be accorded the high privilege by the nation to run the affairs of the country. We therefore all have a responsibility to address any crisis that may undermine the process of forming the next government, as is clearly the case given the latest developments. We are required by the gravity of the problem we face presently to place the interests of the country above our partisan interests.


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