Independent Electoral Commission Secretary, Gabriel Seeletso expressed gratitude over the fact that Botswana political parties are tolerant, as shown during the 2014 general elections.
Welcoming participants to a one and half days workshop the commission hosted at Boipuso Hall, fairgrounds Thursday, Seeletso explained that, “political parties had the tolerance where process was not delivering as efficiently as expected, media and civil service informed and educated the citizenry, while the electorate exercised their patience until they voted in numbers and the election observers kept a sharp eye on the proceedings of the process, but to name a few examples.”
He emphasised the fact that elections are a partnership between the Election Management Body, stakeholders and partners and this tripartite must work together to deliver high quality results, credible to the victors, losers and the onlookers.
“It therefore humbles us to have observed the cooperation through the process even where there were differences of opinion in understanding they were dealt with in a professional and acceptable fashion,” he said.
For his part the IEC Chairman, Abednico Tafa commended the commission for having conducted the 2014 general elections exceptionally well and credibly. Tafa further highlighted that the 2014 general elections registered a record voter turnout of 84.6 per cent which has never been achieved before in the past elections, and a record participation of young people aged between ages 18 and 35 years.
“The elections were covered by 21 local media organisations with 494 personnel across the country, 13 international media organisations, and observed by 22 local observer groups, eight international observer groups, and 11 Diplomatic Corps observer groups,” said Tafa.
He said democracy remains susceptible to non-participation on the electoral process. He therefore implored all institutions, organisations and the general populace to always mobilise Batswana to participate. The appreciation of the electoral democracy by Batswana he said places election evaluation in the top priority such that any improvement on the process is consistent with expectations and wishes of the electorate.
“Democracy operates in a fast technology transforming environment that requires regular adaptation to emerging electoral technologies to improve service delivery and the general efficacy of the process. I am happy to inform you that the IEC has invited sister organisations from our esteemed democratic neighbours-Namibia and South Africa, who are going to make presentations on incorporation of technology in the electoral process. I hope your discussions will lend themselves to such to look at the associated pieces of legislation for informed decisions by the relevant authorities,” he said.