Politics of Botswana

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Politics of Botswana takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Botswana is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Botswana. Since independence the party system has been dominated by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has never lost power since independence. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Botswana is formally a multiparty constitutional democracy. Each of the elections since independence in September 1966 has been freely and fairly contested and has been held on schedule. The country's small white minority and other minorities participate freely in the political process. There are two main rival parties and a number of smaller parties. Some argue that the openness of the country's political system has been a significant factor in Botswana's stability and economic growth. General elections are held at least every 5 years.[1]

Legislative branch[edit]

The National Assembly has 57 elected and 4 appointed members [1]; it is expanded following each census (every 10 years). After elections, the party that wins the majority elects the State President. The President then appoints the Vice President, but the appointment is subject to endorsement by the National Assembly.

There are 57 parliamentary constituencies in Botswana.[2]

The advisory House of Chiefs represents the eight principal subgroups of the Batswana people, and four other members are elected by the subchiefs of four of the districts. A draft of any National Assembly bill of tribal concern must be referred to the House of Chiefs for advisory opinion. Chiefs and other leaders preside over customary, traditional courts, though all persons have the right to request that their case be considered under the formal British-based legal system.


Current Cabinet[edit]

The President appoints Ministers to head the different government Ministries. The President and Ministers form the Cabinet (Executive). The Cabinet is headed by the President, who is also head of government.

Office Incumbent
President H.E. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama
Vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi
Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mokgweetsi Masisi
Minister of Local Government Lebonaamang Mokalake
Minister of Trade and Industry Dorcas Makgato-Malesu
Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Shaw Kgathi
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila
Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Johnnie Swartz
Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi
Minister of Agriculture Christian De Graaf
Minister of Works and Transport Frank Ramsden
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Batshu
Minister of Health John Seakgosing
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi
Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama
Minister of Education and Skills Development Mokgweetsi Masisi
Minister of Lands and Housing Nonofo Molefhi

Source: [2]

Local government[edit]

Local government is administered by nine district councils and five town councils. District commissioners have executive authority and are appointed by the central government and assisted by elected and nominated district councilors and district development committees. There has been ongoing debate about the political, social, and economic marginalization of the San (Bushmen). The government's policies for remote area dwellers continue to spark controversy and may be revised in response to domestic and donor concerns.[citation needed]

Political parties and elections[edit]

For other political parties see List of political parties in Botswana. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Botswana.
e • d  Summary of the 16 October 2009 Botswana National Assembly election results
Parties Votes  % Seats +/–
Botswana Democratic Party 290,099 53.26 45 +1
Botswana National Front 119,509 21.94 6 –6
Botswana Congress Party 104,302 19.15 4 +3
Botswana Alliance Movement 12,387 2.27 1 +1
Independents 10,464 1.92 1 +1
Botswana People's Party 7,554 1.39 0
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin Movement 292 0.05 0
Tlhoko Tiro Organisation 40 0.00 0
Valid votes 544,647 98.12
Invalid votes 10,431 1.88
Totals 555,078 100.00 57
Electorate and voter turnout 723,617 76.71
Source: Independent Electoral Commission

Judicial branch[edit]

Botswana's High Court has general civil and criminal jurisdiction. Judges are appointed by the president and may be removed only for cause and after a hearing. The constitution has a code of fundamental human rights enforced by the courts, and Botswana has a good human rights record[citation needed].

Judgments of the Botswana Court of Appeal

Judgments of the Botswana High Court

International organization participation[edit]

ACP, AfDB, C, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, WT

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Background Note: Botswana
  2. ^ "Constituencies". Parliament of Botswana. Retrieved 2010-08-03.