Botswana president wins second term

Botswana President Ian Khama yesterday saw off the biggest challenge posed by the opposition since independence, winning a second term in power as his ruling party secured a majority at the polls.

His Botswana Democratic Party won at least 34 of the 57 parliamentary seats, AFP reported.

With counting continuing for seven seats, it was unclear if the ruling party would match its previous tally of 41 seats.

An opposition coalition called the Umbrella for Democratic Change won 14 seats, while another opposition group, the Botswana Congress Party, secured two.

Khama, 61, the son of the country’s first president, Seretse Khama, will be inaugurated today.

Friday’s general elections had been billed as the most challenging for the ruling party since Botswana gained independence from Britain in 1966.

Opposition parties had made inroads in urban areas after the formation of a breakaway party, the Botswana Movement for Democracy, in 2010. It is now part of Umbrella for Democratic Change, led by Duma Boko, which won seats in districts that were once strongholds of the ruling party, including in the capital, Gaborone.

“The UDC did well for a new party ,” said party representative Seakamela Motsoaledi.