The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has won the general elections in the world’s largest diamond producer. It secured at least 33 of the 57 parliamentary seats being contested, the national electoral commission says. A party needs 29 seats to take power. Opposition group Umbrella for Democratic Change has won 14 seats. The BDP party of President Ian Khama has been in power since Botswana gained independence in 1966. But it has been battling to gain support in urban areas where opposition parties have made recent inroads. Three parties competed to win over the 824,000 registered voters who directly elected the 57 members of parliament.
Vote counting is still under way. However, the Twitter account of Botswana’s independent election commission said on Saturday that the BDP had already won 33 seats of the 57 contested, followed by the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) with 14. The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is in third place with just two seats.
A further four members of the 63-member assembly will be chosen by the new parliament, with the president and the attorney general filling the remaining two seats.