Botswana’s court of appeal accepts election challenge by opposition

BOTSWANA’S court of appeal has accepted the opposition’s challenge to the outcome of elections held last year after 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 lawsuit at the high court in November, citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
However, the high court dismissed the petition the following month, for failure to comply with rules.
This resulted in the UDC proceeding 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.