Political parties in Botswana are planning a demonstration to protest the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the upcoming general elections. The march, which will be held on 17 September in Gaborone, is being organised by the four opposition political parties; Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). While the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) recently said that it was still to be consulted on the introduction of voting machine by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) it has not shown interest in joining the protest. Speaking on behalf of opposition parties recently, the BNF secretary-general, Moeti Mohwana, said they reject the use of EVM in 2019 elections, unless safeguards and audit trail accompany its use.
He said some of the recommendations are that counting of votes be conducted at each polling station and results be transmitted to the counting centres after the candidates or their counting agents have appended their signatures confirming the authenticity of the results.
“If the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) produces the opposite results from what the voter has chosen, such machine should be set aside as corrupt and be replaced with the corrupt-free EVM,” he said.
Another BNF official, Nelson Ramaotwana, said they reject the use of EVM in any elections unless its use is accompanied by safeguards and an audit trail.
Full Article: Row over electronic voting machines in Botswana.