Parliament of Botswana
Palamente ya Botswana
12th Parliament
Coat of arms or logo
HousesNational Assembly
Founded1 March 1965 (1965-03-01)
Mokgweetsi Masisi
since 1 April 2018
Phandu Skelemani
since 5 November 2019
Leader of the House
Slumber Tsogwane, BDP
since 5 November 2019
Leader of Opposition
Dithapelo Keorapetse, UDC
since 12 July 2022
National Assembly political groups
Government (45)
  •   Botswana Democratic Party (38)
  •   Specially-elected (5)[1]
  •   Ex-officio (2)[2]

Official opposition (7)

Other opposition (12)

First-past-the-post voting
Last National Assembly election
23 October 2019
Next National Assembly election
By October 2024
Meeting place
National Assembly Chamber
South-East District

The Parliament of Botswana consists of the President and the National Assembly.[7] In contrast to other parliamentary systems, the Parliament elects the President directly (instead of having both a ceremonial President and a Prime Minister who has real authority as head of government) for a set five-year term of office. A president can only serve 2 full terms. The President is both Head of state and of government in Botswana's parliamentary republican system. Parliament of Botswana is the supreme legislative authority.[8] The President of Botswana is Mokgweetsi Masisi, who assumed the Presidency on 1 April 2018. In October 2019, the 2019 general election was held which saw the return of the Botswana Democratic Party to the power with a majority of 19 seats in the 65 seat National Assembly.

There also exists a body known as Ntlo ya Dikgosi, (The House of Chiefs), which is an advisory body that does not form part of the Parliament.[9]

Botswana is one of only two nations on the African continent (with the other being Mauritius) to have achieved a clean record of free and fair elections since independence, having held 11 elections since 1966 without any serious incidents of corruption.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Originally members of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), the four MPs faced expulsion from the party in July 2022 for defying the BCP Central Committee. This defiance occurred when they ousted the BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando, from the position of Leader of the Opposition. Consequently, they are currently independents and have not joined a political party, though they maintain affiliation with the UDC parliamentary group.[3]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Despite having left the UDC, the seven MPs still sit under the UDC group in Parliament as a result of a ban on floor crossings.[4]
  4. ^ Left the BDP ahead of a scheduled BDP disciplinary hearing. She later joined the BCP in late 2023, but sits as an independent in parliament, as a result of a ban on floor croosings.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Masisi's SEMPs A Tough Assignment". Mmegi. The Monitor. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  2. ^ "FAQs". Parliament of Botswana. Retrieved 22 July 2021. 2 are Ex-officios being the President and The Speaker
  3. ^ Tlhankane, Mompati (1 August 2022). "The determined, unyielding Keorapetse". Mmegi. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  4. ^ Tlhankane, Mompati (5 June 2023). "UDC accused of destabilising BCP". Mmegi. Retrieved 6 June 2023. The BCP is currently stuck in the coalition because it cannot afford to trigger by-elections because of a new piece of legislation that prohibits Parliament floor crossing.
  5. ^ Selatlhwa, Innocent (22 May 2023). "Dow: Democracy under threat". Mmegi Online. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  6. ^ "DOW JOINS BOTSWANA CONGRESS PARTY". DailyNews. 22 May 2023. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  7. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, 1966
  8. ^ "Parliament of Botswana". Parliament of Botswana. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  9. ^ Proctor, J. H. (1968). "The House of Chiefs and the Political Development of Botswana". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 6 (1): 59–79. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00016670. ISSN 0022-278X. JSTOR 158677. S2CID 154486897.
  10. ^ US State Department