Batswana demand state funding of political parties

State funding of political parties in Botswana remains a contested issue and after 50 years of independence, a law providing for the funding of parties has not been enacted. This is in spite of the countless calls from stakeholders including civil society and opposition parties to provide for such a law to fund  political parties in order to level electoral competition and enhance democracy. 

Opposition parties have decried the unfair advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the ruling party, lamenting that it is not in the interest of the BDP to support a law on state funding of political parties.

However, as debates continue on the need for state funding of parties, a recent survey by Afrobarometer indicates that almost two thirds of Batswana want political parties to be financed based on their performance in national elections.

Key findings

  • More that majority (63%) of Batswana call for state funding of parties based on electoral performance. 
  • Two-thirds (64%) of men say that the state should fund political parties compared with 62% of women.
  • Support for state funding of parties does not differ by location as 62% rural and semiurban dwellers agree with 63% urban dwellers.