from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – BOTSWANA’S main opposition party has rejected the conduct and results of last week’s election that retained Mokgweetsi Masisi as president.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), which lost out to Masisi’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), alleged irregularities in the process.
Moeti Mohwasa, UDC spokesperson, said prior to the elections held last Wednesday, the party indicated its misgivings about the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) ability to ensure polls were credible.
“We insist that this wasn’t,” Mohwasa said of the poll exercise.
“There were glaring discrepancies and irregularities that in our considered view, have brought about fraudulent results and we find ourselves at pains to accept as true, correct and fair.”
The party disclosed to supporters, members and sympathizers that it had initiated a process of gathering evidence of voting irregularities.
“In the meantime, we call for calm and respect for the rule of law to safeguard our peace and stability to allow conclusion of this critical exercise,” Mohwasa said.
According to official results, UDC secured more than 36 percent of the vote, behind BDP’s 52,77 percent.
More than 768 000 voters cast their ballots.
The inauguration of Masisi is set for November 1.
Both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc and African Union (AU) endorsed the election outcome as being free and fair.
– CAJ News