Botswana’s 2019 General Elections: A Referendum on General Ian Khama

Batlang Seabo, Robert Nyenhuis

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2 Citations (Scopus)


On October 23, 2019, Botswana held its twelfth free and fair election. For the first time in the history of Botswana’s electoral democracy, a former president (Ian Khama) defected from the ruling party and supported the opposition. The opposition coalition, working informally with Khama, mounted a spirited campaign against the well-oiled machine, the incumbent and long-ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Seabo and Nyenhuis reflect on the 2019 general election, analyze the outcome, and consider the implications for the future of Botswana’s electoral democracy. They argue that barring other factors, the BDP’s resounding victory was mainly a result of Batswana’s rejection of former president Ian Khama.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-883
Number of pages30
JournalAfrican Studies Review
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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