Botswana: Independent Electoral Commission

Updated October 2019

The Constitution provides for the appointment of an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) (Constitution of Botswana 1966, Section 65A).

Composition

The Botswana Electoral Commission is a 7 person Commission. It comprises a Chairperson, who is a judge of the High Court, a Deputy Chairperson who is a legal practitioner and five members chosen from a list recommended by the All-Party Conference. The Commissioners are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission. The Secretary is appointed by the President (Constitution of Botswana 1966, Section 65A(1)-(4), 66(2)).

Functions

The functions of the Commission are to (Constitution of Botswana 1966, Section 65A(12)):

  • The conduct and supervision of elections of members of the National Assembly and of a Local Authority;
  • The conduct of referenda;
  • Ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently, properly, freely and fairly;
  • Giving instructions and directions to the Secretary of the Commission with regard to his/her responsibilities and;
  • Performing such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

Goals

Apart from the functions established by law, the IEC has set itself the following goals (IEC 2019):

  • To ensure common understanding of the electoral process by stakeholders;
  • To ensure transparency in the electoral process;
  • To maintain a high-quality election database;
  • To ensure that all eligible citizens vote in elections;
  • To promote and nurture democracy and;
  • To be a reputable and effective organisation.

Term of Office

The term of office of the Commission is the period of two successive terms of Parliament, namely 10 years (Constitution of Botswana 1966, Section 65A(5)).

The Secretary shall vacate his/her post upon reaching 65 years of age, or such other age as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament (Constitution of Botswana 1966, Section 66(7)).

Commissioners

The following are the members of the IEC:

  • Justice Abednego Tafa (Chair)
  • John Carr-Hartley (Deputy Chair)
  • Agnes Setlhogile
  • Molefe Phirinyane
  • Shaboyo Motsamai
  • Martha Sayed
  • Vacant

Funding

Ministry of finance and development planning.Commission required by law to account for funds it uses through the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Tsie, 2003).

References

CONSTITUTION OF BOTSWANA 1966, [www] https://www.eisa.org.za/pdf/bot1966constitution.pdf (accessed 10 Oct 2019).

INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION 2019, [www] https://www.iec.gov.bw/index.php/about.html (accessed 10 Oct 2019).

TSIE, B 2003 "The Role, Functions and Performance of Botswana's Independent Electoral Commission" IN Journal of African Elections Vol. 2, No. 1:145-151 https://www.eisa.org.za/pdf/JAE2.1Tsie.pdf (accessed 10 Oct 2019).

Official website

IEC: http://www.iec.gov.bw.