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Botswana parliamentary democracy under spotlight

Botswana parliamentary democracy under spotlight

Dated : 17.01.2018


The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor David Sebudubudu and some colleagues in the academia have published a well-researched handbook that offers an insightful analysis of Botswana’s parliamentary democracy.
 
Titled Botswana Parliamentary Democracy Revisited, the book was launched in Gaborone on November 20, 2017 with Professor Sebudubudu describing it as a comprehensive, honest and thought provoking examination of Botswana as a world renowned model of long established democracy and political stability.
 
Professor Sebudubudu said the book is edited by distinguished scholars and experts, and further offers a fair assessment of Botswana, thereby significantly advancing understanding of the country’s unique democracy. That, he observed, was because contributors were from different academic fields such as politics, democracy, law, governance, political economy, sociology and international relations.
 
The book is in four parts covering primary institutions in parliamentary democracy, secondary institutions, and political participation, as well as provides an analysis of critical aspects of Botswana’s unique democracy from a regional and global context. Professor Sebudubudu said the book was intended to have a wider appeal for scholars, students and the general public within Botswana, southern Africa and beyond.
 
One of the contributors, ABM University College Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Dr Gape Kaboyakgosi, said the chapter on the predominance of the Botswana Democratic Party was an assessment of the factors that had led to the party winning the elections for past 50 years.
 
Dr Kaboyakgosi said while Botswana facilitated various freedoms that ought to lead to fair electoral competition, such as freedom of movement and freedom of association, and without restrictions on political contest, the BDP's dominance of the electoral landscape was, among others, due to the propensity of the opposition to fragment.
 
Other factors include resource asymmetries in favour of the BDP; the BDP's history as the party of Sir Seretse Khama, the founding president; the BDP's capacity as the governing party to implement popular programmes, and the BDP's organisational strong capacities that include the ability to recruit people with better name recognition, said Dr Kaboyakgosi.
 
While none of these factors are always constant, he said they had all variously worked to ensure the party was returned to power in each of the last 11 national electoral contests since independence.
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