- Says voters want to know their candidates before registering to vote
Voters are reluctant to register for elections without prior knowledge of the candidates at both the local government and National Assembly levels, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said.
This has been brought to the attention of political parties by means of a memo in which the IEC emphasises that the matter falls outside its jurisdiction and urges political parties to attend to the issue for appropriate redress.
Even so, the Election Management Body notes positive progress in general registration overall.
It acknowledges “a few initial challenges experienced primarily during the first week of registration” and assures stakeholders it addresses issues as arise in the course of the registration process.
Political observers say the IEC statement serves as a call to action by political parties taking the concerns raised by the electorate into consideration by taking steps to identify their candidates.
They note that voter engagement is a cornerstone of any democratic process and that the concerns of the electorate as expressed by the IEC point to a desire for transparency and information about potential candidates.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) stands out as the only party that has identified its candidates through primary elections.