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Botswana presidential candidates in final bid to sway voters

President Mokgweetsi Masisi and three other presidential hopefuls took part in a public debate and Khama made an appearance at the final rally of the Botswana Patriotic Front.

Botswana's presidential hopefuls debate ahead of the country's elections on 23 October 2019. Picture: @BWGovernment/Twitter

GABORONE - Botswana’s leading contenders in Wednesday’s elections have laid into each other in their last-ditch debate to woo voters.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi said that unlike his predecessor, Ian Khama, if he loses tomorrow's elections he will accept the outcome and won't return to destabilise the government.

But Khama, who left the Botswana Democratic Party, said he wanted the party that has governed the country since independence to lose because Masisi was undermining democracy.

Masisi and three other presidential hopefuls took part in a public debate and Khama made an appearance at the final rally of the Botswana Patriotic Front.

Botswana's former president, Khama and his successor, Masisi, have been at each other's throats throughout the campaigning season.

Khama’s departure has analysts predicting for the first time that a new party could govern Africa’s most stable democracy.

After a fall out with his anointed successor, Khama vowed to support all candidates that would ensure that the BDP lost the elections.

He accused Masisi of being a dictator.

"Those in charge of the BDP are undermining democracy."

Masisi said that unlike Khama, he would accept the outcome of the elections and stay out of politics if he lost.

"BDP and I respect the constitution, so we will accept the outcome and I won't come back like some people who look like they forgot something."

The other four main political parties say they too would accept the outcome but they’ve accused intelligence agencies of meddling in the election.

This is seen as the most fiercely contested poll yet for Botswana.

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