Botswana is a parliamentary republic and one
of Africa's most stable countries. The country has had a
democratic governance since independence in 1966.
Fundamental civil liberties are generally respected and
the judiciary is considered to be independent. The
president has relatively great power despite being
elected indirectly, by the National Assembly.
The constitution was adopted in connection with
independence, although some changes have been made since
Total population and chart of Botswana for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The National Assembly which
establishes the laws has 63 members. Of these, 57 are
elected in direct majority elections in one-man
constituencies, for a term of five years. Four members
are nominated by the president (of the largest party)
and the last two members are the president and the
country's highest legal official (most closely resembled
a justice chancellor).
The President, who is head of state and government,
is appointed by the National Assembly. The National
Assembly cannot dismiss the president, but the president
can dissolve parliament. The president is also
commander-in-chief, appoints ministers and leads
government work. A president can be elected for a
maximum of two terms.
In certain matters, including those relating to
customary law and amendments to the constitution, an
advisory house, the Chiefs' House, is
expressed . It was long the chiefs of the eight
traditional Tswana people (see Population and
Languages). Following complaints from other ethnic
groups, it was expanded in 2006 and now consists of 35
members. However, there is still criticism against the
fact that Tswana's traditions take precedence over civil
law issues such as inheritance and marriage.
Local elections are made for council assemblies in
the country's nine districts, while the five largest
cities have their own city council. In the countryside
there is a large number of city councils.
In addition to local courts, there is an intermediate
level, the High Court, and a Supreme
Court, the Court of Appeal. Previously,
all the judges were in the higher courts from other
countries of the Commonwealth (Britain and the former
British colonies), but in the High Court all are now
bots and a gradual transition is underway in the Court
Alongside the civil justice system, there are
traditional courts that deal mainly with minor disputes
and thefts in rural areas under customary law. They
sometimes judge sentencing. However, individuals are
always entitled to be tried under the ordinary legal
system if they so wish. A 2013 court decision on
inheritance law clearly gave preference to civil law
before traditional law (see Social conditions).
Politics is dominated by the Liberal Conservative
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP),
which has won all elections since independence. The
party has the strongest support in the countryside. The
BDP has been accused of circumventing democracy as the
party in the recent elections let the president resign a
year before the end of the term, so that the vice
president has to take over and rule for upcoming
elections. The ruling party opposes the opposition's
demand for a more proportional electoral system, which
would favor smaller parties.
Defenders from BDP as well as some independent actors
formed Botswana's Democracy Movement
(Botswana Movement for Democracy, BMD)
in 2010 which soon became a leading opposition party.
BMD presented itself as a younger, more progressive
alternative to BDP.
The traditionally largest opposition party, the
Botswana National Front (Botswana
National Front, BNF) and BMD, formed
the Alliance for Democratic Change (UDC)
in 2012 . The alliance also included the small
Botswana People's Party (BPP). UDC ran for
election in 2014 and then received significantly more
support than any opposition group had previously
The Botswana Congress Party
(Botswana Congress Party, BCP), which
was formed following an outbreak of BNF in 1998, has a
social democratic image. BCP initially chose to stand
outside the UDC but joined the alliance ahead of the
In 2019, a new crack occurred in the BDP when
ex-president Ian Khama left the party in protest of his
successor Mokgweetsi Masi's policy. Ian Khama and his
supporters then founded a new party - the
Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF)
- which managed to enter parliament at the fall 2019