|Ian Khama's center-right party has ruled Botswana since independence in 1966|
The center-left opposition hopes to tap discontent among labor unions and government employees, the latter of whom were dissatisfied to get a 3% salary increase when they wanted a 16% bump: "Unifying under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the leaders of the three parties, Botswana Movement for Democracy – which broke away from the ruling party – the Botswana National Front and the Botswana People's Party are determined to give the government a run for its money. 'We are here to provide an alternative,' said Duma Boko, a human rights lawyer who will lead the party. 'Botswana might be a middle income country but the majority of its people are poor, we need to change.' The party is counting on attracting young voters, poor voters and those who believe the economy must be diversified away from diamonds."
On a continent littered with leftist failure, Botswana's center-right argues that it has a track record of good governance and success: "'I can liken the UDC to a new born baby which is drawing attention and being liked by everyone, but as time goes on the excitement fades away,' said Lesang Magang, culture and publicity chairperson of the ruling BDP. 'What they need to understand is that politics and elections are a marathon not a sprint....We have been in the marathon for too long and results of our good governance are there for all to see, so really we are not bothered by this excitement around the opposition coalition.'"