Khama shies from nam­ing brother as VP

Lesotho Times - - News -

GABORONE — Botswana’s pres­i­dent yes­ter­day shied away from nom­i­nat­ing his brother as vice pres­i­dent, end­ing a po­lit­i­cal and le­gal bat­tle that threw the coun­try’s demo­cratic rep­u­ta­tion into ques­tion.

Pres­i­dent Ian Khama in­stead put for­ward Mokg­weetsi Ma­sisi for the vice pres­i­dency, and law­mak­ers con­firmed the ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter with 38 votes in favour and 19 ab­sten­tions in a se­cret bal­lot. Ma­sisi was later sworn in. Fresh from win­ning a sec­ond and fi­nal five-year term, the 61-year-old Khama had looked set to name his younger brother Tshekedi as deputy and heir ap­par­ent.

That prompted a back­lash from within his own party amid fears he was try­ing to cre­ate a pres­i­den­tial dy­nasty in one of Africa’s most demo­cratic na­tions.

Khama’s fa­ther Seretse Khama was the south­ern African coun­try’s first pres­i­dent after in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain in 1966.

The cur­rent pres­i­dent’s ad­min­is­tra­tion had tried to force law­mak­ers to con­firm the vice pres­i­dent in a non-se­cret bal­lot, a bid slapped down by the High Court and Court of Ap­peal.

In Oc­to­ber’s elec­tion, Khama’s Botswana Demo­cratic Party - which has gov­erned un­in­ter­rupted since in­de­pen­dence - won less than 50 per­cent of the votes for the first time. — SAPA-AFP

Pres­i­dent of Botswana ian Khama

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