Botswana. In August, the Legislative Assembly decided -
by an addition to the Constitution - to reduce the voting
age from 21 to 18 years and to extend the voting rights to
Botswani residents living abroad. At the same time, the
president's eligibility was limited to ten years. It was
then not clear whether incumbent President Ketumile Masire,
who has held the post since 1980, was included in the
Masire solved the conceivable constitutional problem by
announcing his departure in mid-November. The 72-year-old
president had decided to leave his post on March 31, 1998.
He will then be succeeded by Festus Mogae, who, in addition
to his post of finance minister, also holds the
vice-presidential post. According to
Countryaah, Mogae is also expected to take over
the leadership of the ruling Democratic Party, the Botswana
Democratic Party (BDP).