Botswana's ruling party wins election

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2014 2:09 AM

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) — Botswana's ruling party has won re-election despite a vigorous challenge from the opposition, extending its decades-old hold on the southern African nation, an election official said Sunday.

The Botswana Democratic Party secured at least 29 parliamentary seats out of 57 directly contested seats, meaning it had enough support to form a government, said Osupile Maroba, a spokesman for Botswana's election commission. An opposition group, the Umbrella for Democratic Change, won 13 seats and another group, the Botswana Congress Party, secured two seats.

Counting for the remaining constituencies continued. The election was Friday.

The new parliament elects the president and also selects another four assembly members. The president and the attorney general also become members, bringing the total to 63.

The ruling party is led by President Ian Khama, a retired army general and the son of independence leader Seretse Khama. The Botswana Daily News said the president will take the oath of office in a ceremony on Tuesday.

Botswana has a reputation for stability and clean governance, although opposition figures allege the leadership has become increasingly intolerant.

In the 2009 elections, the ruling party won 45 of the 57 directly elected parliamentary seats but won the popular vote by a smaller margin at 53.3 percent, leading fractious opposition groups to say they were inadequately represented.