Section 64-70 Botswana Constitution 1966

Section 64-70 Constitution of Botswana 1966

Section 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70 of the Constitution of Botswana 1966, among others, are under Part I (Composition) of Chapter V of the Constitution. Chapter V is titled Parliament.

Section 64 Botswana Constitution 1966

Delimitation Commission

1. The Judicial Service Commission shall, not later than 1st March, 1969, and
thereafter at intervals of not less than five nor more than 10 years, appoint a
Delimitation Commission consisting of a Chairman and not more than four other
members.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, at any time
when—
a. Parliament has made provision altering the number of seats of Elected
Members in the National Assembly; or
b. a comprehensive national population census is held in Botswana,
the Judicial Service Commission shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, appoint
a Delimitation Commission.

3. The Chairman of a Delimitation Commission shall be selected from among
persons who hold or have held high judicial office.

4. No person shall be qualified to be appointed as Chairman or member of a
Delimitation Commission who—
a. is a Member of the National Assembly;
b. is or has been within the preceding five years actively engaged in politics; or
c. is a public officer.

5. A person shall be deemed to be actively engaged in politics or to have been so
engaged during the relevant period if—
a. he or she is, or was at any time during that period, a Member of the National
Assembly;
b. he or she is, or was at any time during that period, nominated as a candidate
for election to the National Assembly; or
c. he or she is, or was at any time during that period, the holder of an office in
any political organization that sponsors or supports, or has at any time
sponsored or supported, a candidate for election as a Member of the
National Assembly:
Provided that no person shall be disqualified from holding the office of
Chairman or member of a Delimitation Commission by reason only of the fact
that he has been the Speaker of the National Assembly if he or she was elected
to that office from amongst persons who were not Members of the National
Assembly.

6. The office of Chairman or other member of the Delimitation Commission shall
become vacant if circumstances arise that, were he or she not Chairman or
member of the Delimitation Commission, would disqualify him or her for
appointment as such.

7. If, after the appointment of the Delimitation Commission and before the
Commission has submitted its report under section 65, the office of Chairman or
any other member of the Commission falls vacant or the holder of the office
becomes unable for any reason to discharge his or her functions as a member of
the Commission, the Judicial Service Commission may, subject to the provisions
of subsections (3) to (5) of this section, appoint another person to be a member
of the Commission:
Provided that a member appointed under this section because of the inability of
some other member to discharge his or her functions shall cease to be a member
of the Commission when, in the opinion of the Judicial Service Commission, that
other member is able to resume his or her functions as a member of the
Commission.

Section 65 Botswana Constitution 1966

Report of Commission

1. Whenever a Delimitation Commission has been appointed the Commission shall
as soon as practicable submit to the President a report which shall state whether
any alteration is necessary to the boundaries of the constituencies in order to
give effect to subsection (2) of this section or in consequence of any alteration in
the number of seats of Elected Members in the National Assembly and where
any alteration is necessary shall include a list of the constituencies delimited by
the Commission and a description of the boundaries of those constituencies.

2. The boundaries of each constituency shall be such that the number of
inhabitants thereof is as nearly equal to the population quota as is reasonably
practicable:
Provided that the number of inhabitants of a constituency may be greater or less
than the population quota in order to take account of natural community of
interest, means of communication, geographical features, density of population,
and the boundaries of Tribal Territories and administrative districts.

3. In this section “population quota” means the number obtained by dividing the
number of inhabitants of Botswana (as ascertained by reference to the latest
comprehensive national population census in Botswana) by the number of
constituencies into which Botswana is divided under section 63 of this
Constitution.

See also  Section 99-102 Botswana Constitution 1966

4. The President shall as soon as practicable after the submission of the report of
the Delimitation Commission, by Proclamation published in the Gazette, declare
the boundaries of the constituencies as delimited by the Commission.

5. A Proclamation made under subsection (4) of this section shall come into force
at the next dissolution of the National Assembly after it is made.

6. The Commission may by regulation or otherwise regulate its own procedure and
may, subject to its rules of procedure, act notwithstanding any vacancy in its
membership or the absence of any member and its proceedings shall not be
invalidated by the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be
present at or to participate in those proceedings:
Provided that any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a
majority of all its members.

7. In the exercise of its functions under this section the Delimitation Commission
shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

8. A Delimitation Commission shall stand dissolved upon the date on which its
report is delivered to the President.

Section 65A Botswana Constitution 1966

Appointment of Independent Electoral Commission

1. There shall be an Independent Electoral Commission which shall consist of—
a. a Chairman who shall be a judge of the High Court appointed by the Judicial
Service Commission;
b. a legal practitioner appointed by the Judicial Service Commission; and
c. five other persons who are fit, proper and impartial, appointed by the
Judicial Service Commission from a list of persons recommended by the All
Party Conference.

2. Where the All Party Conference fail to agree on all or any number of persons
referred to in subsection (1)(c) of this section up to dissolution of Parliament, the
Judicial Service Commission shall appoint such person or persons as are
necessary to fill any vacancy.

3. For the purposes of this section, “All Party Conference” means a meeting of all
registered political parties convened from time to time by the Minister.

4. The first appointments of the Chairman and the Members of the Commission
shall be made not later than 31st January, 1999, and thereafter subsequent
appointments shall be made at the last dissolution of every two successive lives
of Parliament.

5. The Chairman and the members of the Commission shall hold office for a period
of two successive lives of Parliament.

6. A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Independent
Electoral Commission if—
a. he or she has been declared insolvent or adjudged or otherwise declared
bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth and has
not been discharged, or has made a composition with his or her creditors
and has not paid his or her debts in full; or
b. he or she has been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty in any
country.

7. A person appointed a member of the Commission shall not enter upon the duties
of the office of Commissioner until he or she has taken and subscribed the oath
of allegiance and such oath for the due execution of his or her office as may be
prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

8. The Commission shall regulate its own procedure and proceedings.

9. The Chairman shall preside over all proceedings, and in his or her absence, the
legal practitioner referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall preside over the
proceedings.

10. The quorum shall be four members, one of whom shall be the Chairman or the
said legal practitioner.

11. All issues shall be decided by the decision of the majority of the members
present and voting.

12. The Commission shall be responsible for—
a. the conduct and supervision of elections of the Elected Members of the
National Assembly and members of a local authority, and conduct of a
referendum;
b. giving instructions and directions to the Secretary of the Commission
appointed under section 66 in regard to the exercise of his or her functions
under the electoral law prescribed by an Act of Parliament;
c. ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently, properly, freely and fairly;
and
d. performing such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of
Parliament.

13. The Commission shall on the completion of any election conducted by it, submit
a report on the exercise of its functions under the preceding provisions of this
section to the Minister for the time being responsible for matters relating to
such elections, and that Minister shall, not later than seven days after the
National Assembly first meets after he or she has received the report, lay it
before the National Assembly.

Section 66 Botswana Constitution 1966

Appointment of Secretary to Independent Electoral Commission

1. There shall be a Secretary to the Independent Electoral Commission referred to
in section 65A (in this section referred to as “the Secretary”).

2. The Secretary shall be appointed by the President.

3. The functions of the Secretary shall, subject to the directions and supervision of
the Independent Electoral Commission, be to exercise general supervision over
the registration of voters for elections of—
a. the Elected Members of the National Assembly; and
b. the members of any local authority,
and over the conduct of such elections.

See also  Section 71-76 Botswana Constitution 1966

4. A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as Secretary to the Independent
Electoral Commission if—
a. he or she is not a citizen of Botswana;
b. he or she has been declared insolvent or adjudged or otherwise declared
bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth and has
not been discharged, or has made a composition with his or her creditors
and has not paid his or her debts in full; or
c. he or she has been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty in any
country.

5. A person shall not enter upon the duties of the office of Secretary until he or she
has taken and subscribed to the oath of allegiance and such oath for the due
execution of his or her office as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

6. For the purposes of the exercise of his or her functions under subsection (3) of
this section, the Secretary may give such directions as he or she considers
necessary or expedient to any registering officer, presiding officer or returning
officer relating to the exercise by that officer of his or her functions under any
law regulating the registration of voters or the conduct of elections, and any
officer to whom directions are given under this subsection shall comply with
those directions.

7. Subject to the provisions of this section, a person holding office as Secretary
shall vacate that office on attaining the age of 65 years or such other age as may
be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

8. A holder of the office of Secretary may be removed from office only for inability
to perform the functions of his or her office (whether arising from infirmity of
body or mind or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so
removed except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

9. If the President considers that the question of removing the Secretary ought to
be investigated then—
a. he or she shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and not
less than two members who hold or have held high judicial office;
b. the tribunal shall enquire into and report on the facts thereof to the
President and advise the President whether the Secretary ought to be
removed from office under this section for inability to perform the
functions of his or her office or for misbehaviour.

10. Where a tribunal appointed under subsection (9) advises the President that the
Secretary ought to be removed for inability to perform the functions of his or
her office or for misbehaviour, the President shall remove him or her from office.

11. If the question of removing the Secretary from office has been referred to a
tribunal under subsection (9) of this section, the President may suspend him or
her from performing the functions of his or her office, and any such suspension
may at any time be revoked by the President and shall cease to have effect if the
tribunal advises the President that the Secretary ought not to be removed from
office.

Section 67 Botswana Constitution 1966

The franchise

1. A person who—
a. is a citizen of Botswana or of any other country to which this section is
applied by Parliament;
b. has attained the age of 18 years; and
c. has either resided in Botswana for a continuous period of at least 12
months immediately preceding the date on which he or she applies for
registration as a voter or was born in Botswana and is domiciled in
Botswana on the date on which he or she applies for registration as a voter,
shall, unless he or she is disqualified for registration as a voter under any law, be
entitled, upon his or her making application in that behalf at such time and in
such manner as may be prescribed by any law, to be registered as a voter for the
purposes of elections of Elected Members of the National Assembly, and no
other person may be so registered.

2. A person who has not continuously resided in Botswana for the period
mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section but has during the
whole period retained his or her residence (or if he or she has more than one
residence, his or her principal residence) in Botswana and has been absent
therefrom for some temporary purpose only shall be deemed for the purposes of
the said paragraph (c) to have been resident in Botswana during such absence.

3. A person shall be entitled to be registered as a voter—
a. in the constituency in which he or she has his or her residence, or if he or
she has more than one residence in Botswana in the constituency in which
he or she has his or her principal residence; or
b. in the case of a person who does not have a residence in Botswana but is
able to register in person, in the constituency in which he or she last
resided, or in which he or she was born; or
c. in the case of a person who is not resident in Botswana and is unable to
register in person, at such place as may be prescribed by Parliament and
registration at such place shall be treated as registration in the
constituency in which he or she last resided, or in which he or she was born
in Botswana.

See also  Section 86-89 Botswana Constitution 1966

4. A person shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in one constituency only.

5. Every person who is registered in any constituency as a voter for the purposes of
elections of the Elected Members of the National Assembly shall, unless he or
she is disqualified by Parliament from voting in such elections on the grounds of
his or her having been convicted of an offence in connection with the elections
or on the grounds of his or her having been reported guilty of such an offence by
the court trying an election petition or on the grounds of his or her being in
lawful custody at the date of the election, be entitled so to vote in that
constituency in accordance with the provisions made by or under a law in that
behalf; and no other person may so vote.

Section 68 Botswana Constitution 1966

Tenure of office of Members

1. The seat of an Elected Member or a Specially Elected Member of the National
Assembly shall become vacant—
a. upon the dissolution of Parliament;
b. if he or she is absent from the sittings of the Assembly for such period and
in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the
Assembly;
c. subject to the provisions of subsections (2) to (3) of this section, if any
circumstances arise that, if he or she were not a Member of the Assembly,
would cause him or her to be disqualified for election thereto.

2. If circumstances such as are referred to in paragraph (c) of the preceding subsection arise in relation to a Member of the Assembly by virtue of the fact
that he or she is declared insolvent, adjudged to be of unsound mind, sentenced
to death or imprisonment, or convicted of an election offence and it is open to
the Member to appeal against the decision (either with the leave of the court or
other authority or without such leave), he or she shall forthwith cease to
perform his or her functions as a Member of the Assembly but, subject to the
next following subsection, he or she shall not vacate his or her seat until the
expiration of a period of 30 days thereafter:
Provided that the Speaker may, at the request of the Member, from time to time
extend that period for further periods of 30 days to enable the Member to
pursue an appeal against the decision, so, however, that extensions of time
exceeding in the aggregate 150 days shall not be given without the approval of
the Assembly signified by resolution.

3. If, on the determination of any appeal, such circumstances continue to exist and
no further appeal is open to the Member of the Assembly, or if, by reason of the expiration of any period for entering an appeal or notice thereof or the refusal of
leave to appeal or for any other reason, it ceases to be open to the Member to
appeal, he or she shall forthwith vacate his or her seat.

4. If at any time before the Member of the Assembly vacates his or her seat such
circumstances as aforesaid cease to exist, his or her seat shall not become vacant by reason of those circumstances, and he or she may resume the performance of his or her functions as a Member of the Assembly.

Section 69 Botswana Constitution 1966

Determination of questions as to membership of National Assembly

1. The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question
whether—
a. any person has been validly elected as an Elected Member of the National
Assembly or the seat of any such Member has become vacant;
b. any person has been validly elected as Speaker of the Assembly or, having
been so elected, has vacated the office of Speaker.

2. Any question whether any person has been validly elected as a Specially Elected
Member of the National Assembly or whether the seat of any such Member has
become vacant shall be determined by the Speaker.

3. Parliament may make provision with respect to—
a. the persons who may apply to the High Court for the determination of any
question under this section;
b. the circumstances and manner in which the conditions upon which any such
application may be made; and
c. the powers, practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to any
such application.

Section 70 Botswana Constitution 1966

Clerk of the Assembly

1. There shall be a Clerk of the National Assembly and an Assistant Clerk of the
National Assembly and their offices shall be offices in the public service.

2. There shall be such other offices in the department of the Clerk of the Assembly
as may be prescribed by resolution of the National Assembly and such offices
shall be offices in the public service.


See also:

Section 57-63 Botswana Constitution 1966

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Inioluwa Olaposi

Hi. I am Inioluwa Olaposi, a legal-tech enthusiast interested in human development. I tweet sometimes.

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