Botswana Democratic Party

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Botswana Democratic Party
Leader Ian Khama
Chairman Daniel Kwelagobe
Headquarters Gaborone, South-East District
Ideology Conservatism
Political position Right-wing
Parliament of Botswana
45 / 57
Pan African Parliament
3 / 5
Party flag
Flag of the Botswana Democratic Party.svg
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)
Politics of Botswana
Political parties

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is the governing conservative party in Botswana. Its chairman is Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe. The previous party chairperson include among others Daniel Kwelagobe,Samson Guma Moyo, Lt Gen Ian Khama.

BDP was shaped by Sir Seretse Khama, who is celebrated for nurturing the economic and political success of Botswana. The party's base is in the traditional Setswana communities, and it was sometimes referred to as "the Chief's party" (referring to Sir Seretse Khama). At the last election, the party won 53.26% of popular votes and 45 out of 57 seats. BDP candidate Ian Khama is the current President of Botswana.


In 1961, Seretse Khama founded the party. Before independence was achieved in 1966, it was known as the Bechuanaland Democratic Party. On 30 September 1966, Khama's vision of independence became true. In the first general elections in 1965 it won 28 of 31 seats. Khama became the president of Botswana.

It has been the most popular party in every election since independence. Under the leadership of Botswana Democratic Party, economic development has outpaced even the Four Asian Tigers. Botswana has achieved high levels of development and democracy.

Festus Mogae served as the country's president between 1998 and 2008. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 20 March 2008 for his "exemplary leadership" in making Botswana a "model" of democracy and good governance.[1] Mogae won the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.[2][3]

Ian Khama, the son of former president Sir Seretse Khama, joined to the party ahead of the 1999 general elections. Currently the party is ridden by factions and observers predict that unless discipline is instilled, the party will split.[citation needed] One faction (calling itself Barata-Phathi) is led by Ponatshego Kedikilwe, and former Secretary General Daniel Kwelagobe, while the dominant faction (calling itself The A Team) is led by cabinet ministers Jacob Nkate and Mompati Merafhe. The A Team was formerly led by President Festus Mogae and his Vice-President Ian Khama. Both of them have since pulled out from leading factions even though they are still members of 'The A Team'.[citation needed]

On the first of April 2008, Ian Khama ascended to the presidency as the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana, as a result relinquishing his chairmanship of the Botswana Democratic Party. The vacant post was then undertaken by party stalwart and veteran Daniel Kwelagobe. In his inauguration address, Ian Khama outlined the National Vision 2016.[4]

The party recently split with Barata phathi forming the Botswana Movement for Democracy and the A-Team and some of the other Barata Phathi members remaining within the BDP, this following the failed meditation talks between the factions by former President Sir K Masire.

Notable members[edit]


External links[edit]