Botswana: Code of conduct and party finance

Updated June 2006

Code of conduct

There is currently no code of conduct regulating the behaviour of candidates, party members or supporters during campaign periods (EISA 2005, 16). The idea of establishing a Code has been mooted for some time and the IEC has drafted such a Code and circulated it amongst the various political parties for discussion, but consensus on the final form of Code has not yet been established (Odubeng 2005).

Party finance

There is no state financing of political parties in Botswana, nor is there any law regulating political party funding or expenditure. Political parties are not required to disclose their fund sources (Somolekae 2005, 25, 26).

The Electoral Act (Chapter 02:09, 80-89) contains provisions regulating the expenses of candidates. Expenditures by candidates are restricted to a maximum of P50 000 (Electoral Act, 81). This limit does not include expenses incurred generally by political parties or interest groups, but only those incurred specifically for the election of a particular candidate, nor does it include the deposits paid by candidates when a candidate is nominated (Electoral Act, 80). The limit also excludes personal expenses, travelling and living costs and phone calls.

A candidate may nominate a single agent to manage campaign finances within 10 days of nomination and must submit the names and personal details to the returning officer for that constituency; should a candidate fail to advise the returning officer of such an appointment then the candidate is deemed to be his or her own agent (Electoral Act, 82). All expenditures over P10 must be accounted for with a receipt and all income and expenditures must be disclosed to the returning officer within 90 days after the result of any election has been declared (Electoral Act, 84-87). The returning officer is required to make these financial returns available for public inspection for the next six months (Electoral Act, 89). According to Mpho Molomo and David Sebudubudu (2005, 149) these regulations are not strictly enforced.


EISA 2005, Election Observer Mission Report: Botswana Parliamentary and Local Government Elections 30 October 2004 [PDF document].

ELECTORAL ACT (Chapter 02:09) [PDF document].

MOLOMO, M & SEBUDUBUDU, D 2005 "Funding of Political Parties: Levelling the Political Playing Field" IN Maundeni, Z (ed) 40 Years of Democracy in Botswana: 1965-2005, 94-121, [www] [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 10 Mar 2010).

ODUBENG, M 2005 "Mixed feelings on draft code of conduct" IN Mmegi, 7 October, [www] [opens new window] (accessed 10 Mar 2010).

SOMOLEKAE, G 2005, Political Parties in Botswana [PDF document], EISA Research Report No 27.