UDC Plans Parliamentary Action Following CoA Loss 

  • Opposition coalition to sponsor a private member’s bill for monitoring registration process


In the aftermath of the unanimous Court of Appeal judgment in favour of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in its case against the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the Leader of the Opposition, Dithapelo Keorapetse, has announced a strategic move to bring their demands to Parliament.

The case, initiated by the IEC’s decision to challenge Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe’s order of 10 November at the Francistown High Court, revolved around the UDC’s assertion of the right to observe and monitor the election registration process.

Full bench 

The IEC argued that the UDC lacked this right, prompting the legal battle that culminated in the recent CoA decision.

In the judgment delivered by Justices Tebogo Tau, Isaac Lesetedi, Singh Walia, Mercy Garekwe and Gotsilekgabo Tebogo-Maruping, the full bench decided in favour of the IEC.

In response to the ruling this week, Keorapetse announced that “the party will sponsor a private member’s bill in Parliament to pursue the same demands”.

Parliamentary strategy 

This parliamentary strategy suggests the opposition coalition advancing its cause through legislative channels because the legal setback dealt it by the CoA means all court processes inside Botswana are exhausted.

Advocate Andrew Redding (for the IEC) contended that the UDC should have pursued an administrative review or challenged the Electoral Act rather than seek to establish a new right through the courts.

Advocate Redding emphasised that the court’s role should be to interpret legislation rather than identifying gaps. He expressed surprise that other interested parties, including the Attorney General, were not involved in the case.

Privacy concerns 

He also raised privacy concerns about sharing registration data with UDC registration clerks, citing potential misuse for advertising or political campaigns.

On the UDC’s side, Advocate Duma Boko argued that the party had the right to observe registration, as stipulated in the Electoral Act, which he claimed mirrored the Constitution of Botswana.

He highlighted the UDC’s courteous communication with the IEC regarding deployment of registration clerks and emphasised that their application to the High Court aimed to ensure orderly monitoring, not to halt the registration process.


PULL QUOTE: The Leader of the Opposition, Dithapelo Keorapetse, has announced a strategic move to bring their demands to Parliament.