Ian Khama nixes brother as VP

2014-11-12 21:21
Supporters of the leader of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, President Ian Khama, wave an election poster bearing his portrait. Photo: AP

Supporters of the leader of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, President Ian Khama, wave an election poster bearing his portrait. Photo: AP

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Gaborone - Botswana's president on Wednesday shied away from nominating his brother as vice president, ending a political and legal battle that threw the country's democratic reputation into question.

President Ian Khama instead put forward Mokgweetsi Masisi for the vice presidency, and lawmakers confirmed the education minister with 38 votes in favour and 19 abstentions in a secret ballot.

Masisi was later sworn in.

Fresh from winning a second and final five-year term, the 61-year-old Khama had looked set to name his younger brother Tshekedi as deputy and heir apparent.

That prompted a backlash from within his own party amid fears he was trying to create a presidential dynasty in one of Africa's most democratic nations.

Khama's father Seretse Khama was the southern African country's first president after independence from Britain in 1966.

The current president's administration had tried to force lawmakers to confirm the vice president in a non-secret ballot, a bid slapped down by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

In October's election, Khama's Botswana Democratic Party - which has governed uninterrupted since independence - won less than 50% of the votes for the first time.

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