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News release

Majority of Batswana are not opposed to a dominant-party system, so long as elections are free and fair

27 Apr 2023 Botswana
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News release
Key findings
  • More than half (54%) of Batswana say it does not matter if the same party always wins elections, so long as the government is elected by the people in a free and fair manner (Figure 1).
  • The view that political power need not change hands is more common among citizens experiencing no lived poverty (59%), those with no formal education (58%), and men (56%) (Figure 2).
  • Eight in 10 Batswana (80%) say the country needs many political parties to give voters real choices in who governs them (Figure 3).

A majority of Batswana say it does not matter if one political party always wins elections and continuously governs the country, so long as the elections are free and fair, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

A sizeable minority, however, believe it’s good for a democracy if power changes hands via elections from time to time.

Large majorities believe that Botswana needs many political parties to ensure voter choice and that competition between political parties rarely or never leads to violent conflict.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has won all 12 of the country’s presidential elections since independence in 1966, though its share of the popular vote has been declining (to 46.7% in the 2014 election). Critics argue that the BDP’s dominance has bred complacency, lack of accountability, unresponsiveness, and corruption.