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Botswana National Front
Leader Otsweletse Moupo
Founded 1965
Ideology Social democracy
International affiliation Socialist International (observer status)

The Botswana National Front (or BNF) is the main opposition party in Botswana. At the 2004 general election the party won 26.1% of the popular vote and 12 out of 57 seats. Its representation was sharply reduced in the 2009 elections, with the party reduced to only six seats in the National Assembly of Botswana.

The BNF was founded in 1965 in the soon-to-be-independent Botswana. The increased commercial exploitation of natural resources, especially a large diamond industry, provided the revenue needed to fund social welfare initiatives for the benefit of the population. Despite this booming economy, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party increasingly came to be challenged in the 1970's and 1980's by a loose BNF alliance between conservative tribal leaders, led by Bathoen Gaseitsiwe, and socialists, led by Kenneth Koma, concerned over the bourgeois policies of the government. The first time that the party had been represented nationally was in 1969 when they won three seats in the Ngwaketse region. In 1994, 13 BNF candidates were elected as members of the National Assembly. By 1994 the party had adopted the motto "Time for change". The electoral success and change of motto largely reflected decreased standard of living, civil unrest and rising levels of AIDS in the country.

The party is currently led by Otsweletse Moupo. Moupo himself has emphasized the need to help the poor escape from poverty. Accordingly, the party operates largely on the ideology of social democracy, and is an observer member of the Socialist International. There have been a number of internal squables in the party due largely to factionalism. This has led to the splitting of the party a number of times, culminating in the formation of splinter parties such as Botswana Congress Party, whose political ideologies are not appreciably different from that of the BNF. The BCP was formed in 1998 with the defection of a majority of the party's parliamentary wing, in a dispute over Kenneth Koma's leadership. In elections in 1999 and 2004, vote-splitting between the two parties has reduced the party's relative parliamentary representation. In the 2009 elections, the Botswana Congress Party increased its representation from one seat to five largely at the expense of the BNF, which suffered significant losses.

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