Electoral Competition in Botswana: Is the Playing Field Level?

The central thesis of this article is that the electoral process in Botswana belies
the oft-cited claim that the country is a haven of democracy. Botswana has
held ten successive elections since 1965, yet the same party, the Botswana
Democratic Party (BDP), has been returned to power without fail. At a
glance, and taking these elections into consideration, Botswana would
appear to be an extraordinary country in the African context – one where
democracy is in the process of consolidation. Far from it. A closer assessment
shows that Botswana’s electoral competition is deceptive and that there is
a deficit of competitive elections, a key requisite for the consolidation of
democracy. The article examines the factors that contribute to the flawed
electoral competition and concludes that the country’s electoral process does
not satisfy international standards of free and fair elections.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: BDP, Botswana, free and fair, ICCPR, UDHR