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Chief Justice warns against bloodshed during elections

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Chief Justice warns against bloodshed during elections
Dropping a ballot

The Chief Justice of Botswana Terrence Rannowane has warned against any bloodshed and loss of life during the coming General elections.

Rannowane said this in his capacity as the returning officer for purposes of election to the office of the President, as provided for by the terms of Section 32 and 38 of the constitution and Section 2 of the Presidential elections Act, cap 01:01.

Rannowane further issued a stern warning to political leaders to observe tolerance and harmony.

“No life or limp must be lost on account of election. The hallmark of our democratic hygiene ,which I implore citizens and political leaders to observe are tolerance, harmony , consultation, mutual respect and botho,” the CJ warned.

Rannowane further stated that whilst the high court is a court of first instance with inherent and unlimited jurisdiction to hear all manner of cases; “I wish to encourage as I hereby do, it being an election year, all political parties and their faithful supporters to strive to resolve any contestations relating to candidacy for political office within their parties’s constitutional framework instead of seeking urgent help from the courts in regards to an issue which is capable of being resolved without going to court, mindful of the fact that political issue requires political solutions.”

Rannowane further said that the year 2019 is a watershed year for Botswana as the country will be hosting the much contested general elections to elect members of Parliament and councilors as well the office of the President.

“This is a momentous occasion for our republic to light our lamp and demonstrate to the region and the world our long standing tradition as a beacon of mature democracy , good governance and rule of law by conducting free, fair, peaceful and credible elections,” the chief justice said.

The general elections are slated to be hosted this coming October.

Supplementary voter registration is currently ongoing until March, 31st, 2019. ‬

Last year the Independence Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that a total of 750,830 eligible voters participated in the general voter registration window, which lasted for 10 weeks from September 3rd until November 11, 2018.

The commission had initially targeted about 1,592,350 eligible voters for the general election.