General elections were held in the
Bechuanaland Protectorate The Bechuanaland Protectorate () was a protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory that has been granted local autonomy over most internal affairs while st ...
on 1 March 1965, the country's first election under
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the Suffrage, right to vote to all adult citizenship, citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race (human cl ...
.Botswana: The 1965 Pre-Independence General Election
The result was a landslide victory for the Bechuanaland Democratic Party, with Seretse Khama becoming Prime Minister. Following the elections, the country became independent as
Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label= Setswana; Kalanga: ''Hango yeBotswana''), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African ...
on 30 September 1966, at which point Khama became President.


The elections were contested by three main parties;Gossett, CW, and Lotshwao, K., 2009, Report on the 1965 General Election and the 1966 Local Government Election, ''Botswana Notes & Records'', Vol. 41, pp.47-63 the Bechuanaland Democratic Party led by Khama, the Bechuanaland People's Party led by Philip Matante and the Botswana Independence Party, Bechuanaland Independence Party led by Motsamai Mpho. There was also a single independent candidate, G.E.N. Mannathoko, who ran in Tati Concessions Land, Tati West.Botswana Election Results
Election Passport
In the Lobatse, Lobatsi and Barolong constituency, there were two candidates from the Bechuanaland People's Party, one of which represented the Motsete branch. Despite acceptance that the BDP was likely to win easily, there was widespread interest in the elections. The BDP was seen as a moderate party with responsible leaders and realistic policies; in contrast the leaders of the other parties were perceived to be quarrelsome and overly ethnocentric. Three BDP candidates were elected unopposed in Ghanzi, Kgalagadi District, Kgalagadi and Kweneng District, Kweneng West.



{{Botswana elections Elections in Botswana 1965 elections in Africa, Botswana 1965 in Bechuanaland Protectorate Election and referendum articles with incomplete results 1965 elections in the British Empire