History and Politics of Botswana
History of Botswana
According to localcollegeexplorer, the autochthonous population of the country were the Khoi-Koins (Bushmen and Hottentots), who lived throughout Botswana. In the 17th century they were exterminated or pushed deep into the Kalahari by the Bantu tribes who came from the north. To con. 18th century a strong tribal union of the Tswana developed, who had to wage long wars for independence against other peoples. The clashes in the 19th century were especially bloody. with detachments of the militant South African Zulu people and with the Boers – the descendants of Dutch settlers in southern Africa. In 1885, the Tswana leaders, not wanting to fall under the rule of the Boers, agreed to recognize the authority of the British, and this territory became the British protectorate of Bechuanaland. The colonial period was marked by serious clashes between the local population and the British administration in 1933 and 1948. In 1961-65, political parties arose, demanding the independence of the country. In 1965, the protectorate was granted internal self-government and the first general elections to the Legislative Assembly were held, which were won by the Democratic Party (DPB), headed by S. Khama. In 1966, Bechuanaland became the sovereign Republic of Botswana, with Khama as its first president.
Independent Botswana immediately became involved in the struggle against racist regimes in neighboring Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa. In the 1970s-80s. its territory was used by the liberation organizations of these countries for the transfer of armed fighters and their supply, as well as as a refuge for political emigrants. The border areas of Botswana and even its capital, Gaborone, were subjected to repeated attacks by South African “commandos”. Botswana has become one of the so-called. frontline states in southern Africa. In 1979, Botswana became one of the founders of the SADC organization (now SADC), whose initial goal was to weaken economic dependence on racist South Africa.
After the death of President Khama in 1980, the transfer of power was carried out in full accordance with the Constitution. Botswana is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa where, throughout the period of independence, the democratic institutions established by the Constitution, incl. parliamentary system. Despite the sharp internal political struggle, not a single political party was banned, not a single newspaper was closed, and the political opposition represented in parliament is a real political force.
The parliamentary elections held in December 1999 brought victory to the ruling DPB, which won 33 seats out of 40. Due to the split, the opposition got only 7 deputies into parliament (13 in 1994), although 40% of voters voted for it. The National Front of Botswana won in the largest cities of the country.
In 2000, an unprecedented flood caused by monsoon rains hit the country. Not only small rivers, but also channels that remained dry for decades turned into powerful water streams. At the time, attention was focused on a similar disaster in Mozambique, and it went unnoticed that 160,000 houses in Botswana were swept away by flooding.
In 2002, the main political development was the development of amendments to the Constitution, providing for the reform of the House of Chiefs and the increase in the number of ministries.
State structure and political system of Botswana
Botswana is a parliamentary republic. The Constitution of 1966 is in force. Administratively, it is divided into 10 districts (Central, Chobe, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kveneng, Ngamiland, Northeast, Southeast, South) and 4 municipalities of the largest cities (Gaborone, Francistown, Lobatse, Se -Lebi-Pikwe). The highest legislative body is the Parliament, which consists of the National Assembly and the House of Chiefs. The supreme body of executive power is the government headed by the president. The head of state and government is President F. Mogae. Speaker of the National Assembly – R. M. Molomo. The National Assembly is elected in general elections for 5 years and consists of 44 deputies (40 deputies are elected by the population, 4 deputies on the proposal of the president). In addition, the President and the Attorney General are ex officio members of Parliament. The House of Chiefs consists of tribal leaders and has advisory functions on matters related to customs and traditions. The president is elected by the parliament – the National Assembly for 5 years, and for no more than two terms. He appoints the vice president, who automatically assumes his post in the event of the resignation or death of the president. The government consists of 12 ministers. Local authorities – municipal councils – are formed in accordance with the percentage of votes received by each party in a given district or city in parliamentary elections. who automatically assumes his post in the event of the resignation or death of the president. The government consists of 12 ministers. Local authorities – municipal councils – are formed in accordance with the percentage of votes received by each party in a given district or city in parliamentary elections. who automatically assumes his post in the event of the resignation or death of the president. The government consists of 12 ministers. Local authorities – municipal councils – are formed in accordance with the percentage of votes received by each party in a given district or city in parliamentary elections.
The most prominent statesman was the Supreme Chief of the Ngwato tribe, the first president of Botswana, Seretse Khama (1921–80). During the colonial period, he was sent into exile by the authorities, and returning to the country on the eve of granting her independence, he became president and, skillfully pursuing a policy aimed at combining traditional and European political cultures, achieved the transformation of Botswana from one of the poorest countries, fragmented into tribes, with the beginnings of a caste system and patriarchal slavery into a democratic and economically prosperous state.
The political system is multi-party. There are 11 parties registered, three of which are represented in Parliament: DPB, NFB, Botswana Congress Party (PCP).
Leading business organizations: Botswana Stock Exchange, Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Labor. Public organizations: Cooperative Union of Botswana, Federation of Trade Unions of Botswana.
Domestic policy is aimed at stable socio-economic development while maintaining a democratic political structure.
A priority in Botswana’s foreign policy is relations with neighboring countries, primarily members of SADC, which is headquartered in Gaborone. Particularly friendly relations have been established with South Africa. Both states – one of the few in Africa – insist on the need for a process of democratization on the African continent and on respect for human rights. However, in the 1990s Botswana had conflicts with Namibia over the control of population migration, border areas and the use of the waters of the Okavango River.
Military establishment. Army strength approx. 10 thousand, of which 500 people. served in the Air Force. The number of police is 1 thousand. Expenses for the army (2002) 135 million US dollars (3.5% of GDP).
Botswana has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1970).