The decision came after Francistown High Court Judge Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe on Friday ordered the IEC to allow the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to deploy two registration observers across the country to record names, identity card numbers, and serial numbers of registration books of voters for the duration of the general voter registration period.
In a statement issued on Friday, Siamisang said the suspension is based on the commission’s belief and conviction that, by law, political parties do not have the right to deploy their agents at polling stations during the registration process to observe and monitor the process and to record voters’ particulars and the serial numbers of registration books used.
The registration period, originally scheduled to run from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, was rescheduled to start on Nov. 13 to allow the High Court to resolve a dispute between the UDC and the IEC. After the judge ruled in favor of the UDC, the IEC postponed the registration on Friday for the second time.
The IEC said it will wait for a complete discussion of the issues in court when the substantive matter is addressed on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Francistown High Court.
Botswana will hold its next general elections in 2024.