Political Risk Analysis - Opposition To Win Power In 2019 - JULY 2017

BMI View: T he opposition looks poised to finally unseat the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in the 2019 general election and we see a risk that fiscal policy will be loosened aggressively in the run up to the vote as the BDP attempts to shore up support.

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party's (BDP) 54-year faces rising risks that it will be unable to retain its power in the 2019 general election, suggesting Botswana is set for its first transfer of power since the country received independence in 1965. The ruling party has done successively worse in each election since independence in 1965, now holding only a small majority in parliament. With unemployment unlikely to fall rapidly in the next two years, there is an elevated likelihood that 2019 will represent the moment when the transfer of power finally takes place. That said, an opposition victory is by no means certain. It remains unclear how the electorate will view the forthcoming departure from office of President Ian Khama. While the party risks devolving into infighting and losing direction following his departure, we cannot rule out that the BDP could be reinvigorated by new leadership. The opposition's prospects also rest on whether the four main opposition parties can present a united front. The performance of the economy over the next two years will also play a role and we see a risk that the government will increase spending in a bid to maintain support.

Khama Stepping Down - A Blessing Or Curse?

Trend Of Declining Support For BDP Suggests Opposition Victory Ahead
Botswana - Share Of Vote And Proportion Of Parliamentary Seats Won By BDP
Source: Independent Electoral Commission

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