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Botswana’s Umbrella for Democratic Change to challenge election results

The Botswana Democratic Party that has governed since independence in 1966 won 38 out of 57 constituencies, while the UDC won 15 seats, down from the 17 it got in 2014.

Voting opened on Wednesday in Botswana for a hotly contested general election. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Botswana's main opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has confirmed that it will challenge the outcome of last week’s elections.

The Botswana Democratic Party that has governed since independence in 1966 won 38 out of 57 constituencies, while the UDC won 15 seats, down from the 17 it got in 2014.

UDC leader Duma Boko has always maintained he had reservations about the process and refused to commit to accept the outcome

However, President Mokgweetsi Masisi who was declared the winner has already been sworn in.

The recent Botswana elections were always going to be hotly contested, especially with former President Ian Khama vowing to support the opposition to unseat his successor.

The UDC claimed that votes were already planted but didn’t offer any proof, however, the Southern African Development Community observer mission said the process that didn’t provide for counting of votes at polling stations left doubts for party agents who could not verify the outcome at that level.

The UDC said it would provide more details on its challenge later this week, but all objections must be filed within 30 days and this would be the first time that elections were challenged in a country dubbed Africa’s most stable democracy.

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