It’s All Systems Go For Free And Fair Elections -IEC

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With just about three months left before Batswana head to the polls in a national election, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has expressed its readiness to deliver free and fair elections come October this year.

Though the date is yet to be officially announced, IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba jogged memories that the country’s electoral cycle ordinarily shows that elections are usually held in October.

“So we can be rest assured that the same will happen this year. The only point that you cannot tell is the date which is going to be determined by the writ of election immediately after the dissolution of parliament,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.

With regards to budget, Maroba said IEC will effectively conduct the general elections as planned noting that, “with our primary mandate being electoral management, when preparations for general election commences everything has to be put in place including the budget to cover all the necessary procurement needed from registration to voting.” The commission has been allocated a total of P287 million for the upcoming 2024 General Elections.

After falling short of its 1.3 million target in the general and first supplementary voter’s registration target the commission went further to conduct the second exercise which was just recently closed. But Maroba indicated that they do not have the actual figures as yet to determine how close they are to reaching the target since the roll is currently being produced.

IEC previously revealed that the combined total number of registered Batswana from the general voters’ registration and the first supplementary voters’ registration exercises is 810, 974 which translates into 62% of the targeted voters.

Both the general and the first supplementary roll are currently going under inspection with them ending on the 19th and 20th of June respectively to allow for correction of names and resolving of complaints.

Though the commission was previously marred in controversies of missing registration books and also criticised for benchmarking in Zimbabwe in February this year, Maroba requested the public to remain calm assuring that the election will go accordingly.

“There are no suggested amendments to the law before elections so people should expect them to be conducted the same way they were in the past 13 elections, nothing will change,” assured Maroba. He reiterated that the trip to Zimbabwe was to appreciate the country’s automated accreditation process for observers and the media since Botswana uses the manual system. 

“We have just gone through registration, the next stage will be certification of rolls after inspection, have a window for voters’ transfers. After that we will then be waiting for dissolution of Parliament and once that is announced we will amalgamate the three voters rolls to produce an election roll.”

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