Establishment of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
The Independent Electoral Commission was established in 1997 after a referendum, to improve transparency and fairness in the electoral process. Prior to the establishment of the IEC, from 1965-1966, elections were conducted from the Office of the President under the direction of the Permanent Secretary to the President.
The Commission comprises seven (7) members as per Section 65A of the Constitution of Botswana. The Chairman is the judge of the High Court, while the Deputy Chairman is a legal practitioner and both are directly appointed by the Judicial Service Commission. The other five (5) members are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission from a list of persons recommended by the All Party Conference.
The IEC exists to provide accessible and transparent electoral services to its stakeholders for enhanced participation in the electoral process.
To be a professional provider of inclusive, accessible, credible and technology-driven elections
- To ensure common understanding of the electoral process by stakeholders
- To ensure transparency in the electoral process
- To maintain a high quality election database
- To ensure that all eligible citizens vote in elections
- To promote and nurture democracy
- To be a reputable and effective organisation
Responsibilities of the Commission
The Commission is responsible for:
- The conduct and supervision of elections of members of the National Assembly and of a Local Authority;
- The conduct of referenda;
- Ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently, properly, freely and fairly;
- Giving instructions and directions to the Secretary of the Commission with regard to his/her responsibilities;
- Performing such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary who is appointed in accordance with Section 66 of the Constitution. It serves as the administrative and technical arm of the Commission and translates decisions of the Commission into programmes and activities.
The responsibilities of the Secretariat in terms of the Electoral Act are:
- Exercising general direction and supervision over registration of voters;
- Exercising general direction and supervision over the administrative conduct of elections and enforce on the part of all election officers fairness, impartiality and compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act;
- Establishing Polling Districts and Polling Stations in the Constituencies;
Appointing registration and election officers;
- Issuing election officers and registration officers such instructions as deem necessary, to ensure effective execution of the provisions of the Electoral Act;
- Exercising and performing all other powers and duties conferred upon him/her by the Electoral Act.