Botswana’s court of appeal on Wednesday accepted to hear an opposition challenge to the outcome of elections held last year. A lower court had earlier rejected their petition for lack of evidence.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won a sweeping majority in the October 23 polls, securing 38 out of 57 seats in parliament.
The runner-up, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), which won 15 seats, had filed suit to the high court in November, citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
But the high court dismissed the petition the following month, for failure to comply with rules. They subsequently proceeded to a higher court.
Court of Appeal judge Singh Walia said the petitioners had reasonable grounds to challenge the election result.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has previously dismissed the opposition’s claims of voting irregularities. Botswana, independent since 1966, is seen a beacon of democracy and stability in Southern Africa.
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