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World Briefing / Botswana

Landslide victory for ruling party

October 19, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Botswana's governing party, which has been in power for more than four decades, once again swept parliamentary elections that regional observers deemed free and fair, the country's independent electoral commission said.

The overwhelming legislative majority cleared the way for President Ian Khama to continue as leader of the world's largest diamond-producing country.

The commission announced that the Botswana Democratic Party had won 45 of the 57 parliamentary seats in Friday's vote, a peaceful election all but eclipsed by political struggles and violence elsewhere in Africa. The party has been in power since independence from Britain in 1966.

"Some said after 43 years in power people want change and that we were complacent," Khama told supporters at a victory celebration. "A lot people have shown that they trust us."

Hundreds of BDP supporters dressed in the red and black colors of the party gathered at a soccer field in Old Naledi for the celebration.

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