- Security concerns around Indian legislative polls in November key factor in postponement
- “The changes do not affect us at all,” says Ben Raletsasi of Miss Botswana Organisation
The 71st edition of the prestigious Miss World pageant has been postponed to the early months of 2024 but “the changes do not affect us at all”, the licence holder of Miss Botswana, Ben Raletsatsi, has announced.
Contestants from around the world were due to gather in New Delhi, India in December for the grand finale that was set to showcase beauty, talent and intelligence on a global stage.
“The changes do not affect us at all, even though we were ready to take on the world stage in December,” Raletsatsi told Time Out in an interview. “The reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo, will still be there to represent the country.
“The postponement offers an extended window for her to engage in her ‘Beauty with a Purpose project,’ furthering the pageant’s tradition of social impact. We are ready with our plan and purpose to win the next Miss World title.”
According to reports, postponing the global pageant was a prudent step by the Miss World Organization in view of legislative in mid-November in India.
The decision was primarily influenced by concerns related to security and safety, both for the participants and the organisers because the elections may create political unrest and social tensions in the country.
The elections may also disrupt the availability of essential logistics such as venues, hotels, transportation, and security arrangements.
Said Raletsatsi: “I think the only disruptions are that many people had already bought their airline tickets and may lose their money.
“Luckily for us, we bought tickets that allow us to change the dates. We are currently travelling across the country to scout for new contestants for the next pageant.”
Contestants are expected to arrive in New Delhi on 3rd February 2024 to allow a month of preparations and rehearsals leading up to the final event on 2nd March 2024. At the end of the finale, the reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska of Poland will crown her successor.
India will be playing host to the Miss World pageant for the second time, the first time having been nearly three decades ago in 1996.
This year February, the Miss World Organisation announced that the 71st edition of the pageant would take place at the end of 2023, when it was scheduled for May in the United Arab Emirates.
However, four months later on 8 June 2023, Miss World Organisation returned with a new announcement that stated India as the host.