Voter registration hangs in the balance in Botswana

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Voter registrations ahead of the 2024 Botswana National Elections hangs in the balance as the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is at loggerheads with the Independent Electoral Commission.

The two returned to the High Court of Botswana in Francistown after the High Court granted the UDC an interim order interdicting the IEC from preventing UDC agents from monitoring the voter registration processes.

The IEC consequently postponed voter registrations which were set to start on 1 November.

“In this case, the court is being called upon to consider whether to extend to the applicant a right which squarely does not exist on the face of the enabling legislation which is the electoral act. We respectfully submit there is invariably and so doing encroachment onto the powers of the legislature,” says a legal representative for the IEC Advocate Otsile Rammidi.

Legal counsel for the UDC and also the party’s President, Advocate Duma Boko remained unwavering in his party’s resolve.

“The deployment of the applicants, registration observers, is consistent with the letter of Section 65 A, subsection 12 C of the constitution of this republic.

The respondent is merely being placed under a negative obligation which is forbearing, refrain from interfering, obstructing, and denying access to these individuals.”