Declining voter participation in Botswana: trends and patterns
PublisherPula: Botswana Journal of African Studies
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This article attempts to analyse the trends and patterns relating to the past eight general elections in Botswana, from the pre-independence period in 1965 to 1999. Factors that have influenced elections in the last eight years will be discussed, and trends established for the same period. Data from various past election reports and analysis carried out by other researchers will be referred to in this article. The data used will be derived from; the total number of potential voters in Botswana; the number of electorate who registered for the elections and the number who actually voted. Percentages of the electorate who registered and actually voted, the ratio of electorate who voted to potential voters, and the ratio of voted to registered voters will be discussed. The electoral trend of percentage of voters by party and by number, and percentages of national assembly seats by political parties that contested in the last eight general elections will be studied. A summary and conclusions on these factors and lessons to be learned from the experiences of the past eight elections will be included. These experiences will be beneficial to all the political parties in the country, and the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in particular, which has won the 1999 general elections with an overwhelming victory. The BDP government and political parties should learn from the past experiences, and develop an improved and effective performance for the government.