Botswana: 2001 SADC ECF Observation Mission

Updated October 2001

The Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries was invited by the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of Botswana (IEC) to send a team of observers to the 1999 National Assembly and Local Government elections. These elections were held on 16 October 1999.

The team was to observe and assess all the relevant aspects of the conduct of these elections, in order to make recommendations that would assist the IEC, as well as other electoral stakeholders, as to how best to improve and build on their experiences for future elections in the country.

On their arrival in Botswana, the Mission members attended briefings and presentations by the IEC and its secretariat, representatives of various political parties, NGOs, media representatives and university lecturers. Extensive discussions followed each of these sessions.

In this report, the ECF Observer Mission describes its findings and makes recommendations to the IEC and other electoral role-players in Botswana. The ECF Executive Committee will table the report with the Independent Electoral Commission of Botswana, the political parties that contested the elections, and all electoral commission members of the Electoral Commissions Forum. The Interim Secretariat will make copies of the report available to all other interested parties in Botswana, the SADC region, Africa and overseas.

Previous ECF election observations took place in Lesotho (May 1998), South Africa (May-June 1999) and Malawi (June 1999). The Botswana election was the fourth to be observed by the ECF mission.