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Botswana ready to hold free and fair elections

More than 1.2 million voters have registered for the elections and the winners, who will be elected in 57 constituencies, are expected to fill the 63 seats of the National Assembly.

FILE: There are four main political parties and they and many others held their final rallies over the weekend in last-ditch efforts to woo voters. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

GABORONE - The Botswana Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it was ready to hold free and fair elections on Wednesday.

More than 1.2 million voters have registered for the elections and the winners, who will be elected in 57 constituencies, are expected to fill the 63 seats of the National Assembly.

There are four main political parties and they and many others held their final rallies over the weekend in last-ditch efforts to woo voters.

Botswana has a population of two million people and 1,5 million of them are eligible to vote.

But the IEC said 1,2million have registered and they were expected to cast their ballots at 2,244 stations inside the country and 36 voting stations in other countries from the diaspora

The key now is how many of these voters will come out as turnout numbers has declined over the years, although the country has historically enjoyed very high turnouts; in 2014 it was 85%.

SADC said earlier that it would deploy 55 election observers.

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