Parliamentary Chamber: National Assembly


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  National Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  15 October 1994

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the popularly chosen members of Parliament on the normal expiry of the members’ term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The election date was set on 3 September 1994. After the legislative polling, the newly enlarged (by six seats) National Assembly was to choose the President of the Republic. Three candidates contested this post: the incumbent, Sir Ketumile Masire, of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Mr. Kenneth Koma of the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Mr. Knight Maripe of the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).

A record number of parties (9) vied for the Assembly’s 40 elective seats. During the campaign, the BDP stressed its record of positive economic achievement and political stability while the BNF exploited high utility costs (namely electricity, telephone and water), unemployment and high rents in urban areas. The country’s economy had also been hurt by less profit for the important diamond industry.

On a polling day marked by a low turnout, the left-wing BNF made significant gains in the best opposition showing ever; it captured all four seats in the capital, Gaborone. The conservative BDP – in power since independence in 1966 – nevertheless retained its absolute parliamentary majority as no other parties achieved representation. Besides the Government’s problems as mentioned above, analysts attributed this turn of events to increasing urbanisation of the population.

On 17 October, President Masire – in office since 1980 – was re-elected for a fourth term by an absolute majority of the Assembly’s members. Inaugurated two days later, he announced the new Cabinet on 25 October. On 26 October, the elected legislators co-opted four more members from a list of eight submitted by the President.

Round no 1 (15 October 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 361,915
Voters 277,454

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) 40 151,031 54.43
Botswana National Front (BNF) 39 102,862 37.07
Botswana People’s Party (BPP) 11 11,586 4.18
Others 19 11,975 4.32

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) 27 -4
Botswana National Front (BNF) 13 +10
Botswana People’s Party (BPP) 0 n.a.
Others 0 n.a.

  Six seats added since last elections.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 43
Women: 4

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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union