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No one can stop elections- IEC

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 15 October 2019   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Maroba Maroba

There have been some political narratives that President Mokgweetsi Masisi plans to postpone the general elections so that he can extend his grip on power.

The narrative which has been pushed by some members of the opposition parties who felt that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is scared of losing has been gathering some momentum.

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Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has allayed the fears saying the president has no powers to postpone the elections.

Addressing members of the media during their training in Taupye, IEC chief public relations officer, Osupile Maroba allayed those fears saying the president doesn’t have powers to postpone elections.

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“No external office or institution can influence IEC to postpone the elections and if there are any reasons forwarded the president will have to declare state of emergency and recall parliament. It is only the parliament that can take decision on that,” he explained.

There have been suggestion that the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) might recommend the postponement of the elections citing possible violence but Maroba said that that will be just advice which can be looked at by parliament which has been dissolved.

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“We are aware that the current regime wants to create chaos in the Country and thereafter impose a state of emergency which will among others, delay the process of Elections and thereby extending President Masisi's rule against the will of the people,” reads part of the statement penned by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa in July this year.

This was after Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) raided the party president Duma Boko something which they felt it was political motivated.

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Botswana Patriot Front (BPF) Patron former president Ian Khama has also hinted that the President Masisi wants to postpone the elections citing instability in the country.

Khama said the issue of threat to the security of the president is just a ploy by the BDP to try and postpone the elections because they are afraid of losing at the poll.

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Khama who is a former commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) said that no one is threatening to kill the president but they are just seeking sympathy from the electorates.

Addressing a rally in Palapye in August this year said that BDP is not ready for this year’s elections and are now creating stories.

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““They say me and former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi are staging a coup. They say we want to kill the president and all of this is not true. We know they are saying all of this because they do not want elections,” he said.

Khama said he has sources at the Office of the President who have informed him that President Masisi will call a state of emergency so that there would not be elections this year.  He said claims pertaining to the killing of the president and the coup are just a political stunt to build a case to call for state of emergency and postpone the general election.

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On the independence of the IEC from the Office of the President, Maroba said that it only appoints the IEC Secretary and its influence on the commission ceases to exist.

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“The IEC cannot make any decision without the approval of the IEC Commission which is chaired by the high court judge as such the president has no influence on the commission,” he said.



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