Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Botswana Elections

So we voted on Friday. I went at lunch time and I was all alone, no queue. It was very hot so I think most people went in the morning. Everything was calm. The coverage on BTV was very good. My husband and I joked how whenever they showed the police at the polling stations they were sitting slouched in chairs, or reading SMSs in their cellphones or talking with other poll workers. So unlike the police the international media always show us at African polling stations. Those ones always look so scary with their machine guns pacing back and forth with angry faces. If it is true that most of the police are like that then maybe that's why voting is so problematic. Elections went smoothly and once again I'm reminded of how lucky I am to live in this country.

As for results, I'm a bit sad that BCP didn't pick up more Parliamentary seats (they only won four) but in many constituencies the margin was slim with BCP biting on the heels of BDP. In Mahalapye West, my area, Madiba Ward council seat went to BCP, this is unheard of in the Central District, especially in Mahalapye. There are other wins for the opposition with Mosolotsane going to a member of "mekoko" a former BNF member and Shoshong North and Mmutlane going to BNF. My husband's home village is a tiny little, used to be turn-off on the way to Maun until they changed the road. It's called Xhumo. This little village in Boteti also voted a BCP councillor into office. The comfortable bed BDP thought they had in the rural areas, especially in the Central District, has developed bumps in a few places. The odd thing is that in Gaborone where people were talking around every corner, BDP won all of the parliament seats save one. That was a disappointment. What's up with those city folks?

In the end the opposition got 11 seats in Parliament with one going to an independent a former BNF member Nehemiah Modubule in Lobatse. That's 12 opposition seats out of the 57 available. Not so great, but it's not the whole story as I've mentioned.

BDP is glossing it as a fantastic victory but everyone saw the numbers- BTV kept us completely informed and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has posted the results here. Five more years and the end of the BDP hegemony may well be over. That is if the opposition doesn't shoot itself in the foot which they are prone to do.

My wish list- Moupo leaves BNF and BCP and BNF join and put up a real fight. If they would have been together this time they would have garnered close to 43% of the votes.
Doubt it's going to happen though...but I can still wish.


Elizabeth Bradley said...

Every time I vote I get goose bumps.

karen said...

I also count my blessings for living here. As you may have noted, our District voted our BDP parliamentarian out, while still voting overwhelmingly for BDP in all the council seats! Interesting times, indeed!

Lauri said...

Karen are you the folks who got Nkate out? If you are I could kiss you! The worst Minister of Education EVER! How can you be so incompetant and still be so arrogant? Shocking. Very pleased about seeing the last of him and so happy the President didn't put him in as specially elected.