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Botswana's Ruling Party Poised to Win Vote

By VOA News
17 October 2009

The ruling party of Botswana's president, Ian Khama, appeared to be headed for a solid victory in Friday's peaceful general elections.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has won at least 19 of the 29 parliamentary seats needed for a majority in parliament.

Election officials were still trying to determine the winners of all 57 parliamentary seats on Saturday.

Mr. Khama's party has ruled Botswana, the world's largest diamond producer, since the country gained independence from Britain in 1966.

The ruling party faced a divided opposition, including the Botswana National Front and the Botswana Congress Party.

The newly elected parliament will select a president for a five-year term.

Botswana is considered one of Africa's most stable countries, a stark contrast to neighboring Zimbabwe which is mired in political and economic turmoil.

Botswana had seen sustained economic growth since independence, but the global economic downturn dealt a hard blow to the country's lucrative diamond industry.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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