1979 Botswana general election

Botswana Botswana Democratic Party Elections in Botswana
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General elections were held in Botswana on 20 October 1979. The result was a fourth successive landslide victory for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which won 29 of the 32 elected seats,[1] including two in which they were unopposed.[2]


A total of 69 candidates contested the election. The BDP was the only party to run a full slate of 32 candidates, with the Botswana National Front putting forward 16 candidates, the Botswana People's Party 14 and the Botswana Independence Party five. There were also two independents.[2] The BDP campaigned on opposition to apartheid in South Africa and a call for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.[3]

Prior to the elections, the voter roll was completely revamped. The revision was accompanied by a vigorous radio and press campaign by the government to encourage registration. Although the number of registered voters increased by only 6,635 compared to the 1974 elections, this was deemed to be due to the 1974 voter roll having numerous duplications.[2]

Winners by constituency: Red-Botswana Democratic Party, Yellow-Botswana National Front, Green-Botswana People's Party


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Botswana Democratic Party 101,098 75.2 29 +2
Botswana National Front 17,480 13.0 2 0
Botswana People's Party 9,983 7.4 1 –1
Botswana Independence Party 5,627 4.2 0 –1
Independents 278 0.2 0 0
Indirectly elected members 4
Total 134,496 100 36 0
Registered voters/turnout 230,231 58.4
Source: EISA, Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p113 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  2. ^ a b c Botswana: The October 1979 General Election EISA
  3. ^ Botswana IPU