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19 October 2009 

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Botswana's Ruling Party Declares Victory

17 October 2009

Botswana's democratic Party has declared victory in the October 16th General Elections. Final results show the party of President Ian Khama strengthening its hold on parliament.

The results, released Sunday, show the Botswana Democratic Party winning 45 of 57 seats, a gain of one from the last parliament.

Opposition parties and independents split the other 12 seats.

Mr. Khama was declared president Saturday after it became clear the BDP was headed for a decisive victory.

His inauguration is expected sometime next week.

This is the first election win for Mr. Khama, who took office in 2008 after serving as vice president under predecessor Festus Mogae, who retired.

The BDP has ruled Botswana since the country gained independence from Britain in 1966.

The party has maintained a strong hold on power despite infighting that led some analysts to predict a loss of seats in Friday's elections.

Botswana is considered one of Africa's most stable countries, a stark contrast to neighboring Zimbabwe, which is mired in political and economic turmoil.

However, like other countries the country has been dealt a hard blow by the global recession, which has reduced demand for diamonds, the mainstay of Botswana's economy.

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