President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi has dissolved parliament as the country prepares for general elections in October 2019, privately owned Mmegi Online reports.
The election is expected to be the toughest votes the governing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has faced since independence in 1965.
Former President Ian Khama, who stood down last year after a decade in power, has joined the opposition following a fallout with Mr Masisi.
In an interview with the BBC in May, Khama talked of how his successor had changed from a “brother and friend” to a leader “drunk on power”.
“During the period that he was my vice-president I had nothing at all to complain about. Not the way he supported me and the policies, his loyalty. But as soon as he took office, we just saw this change in character that I never expected,”Khama, who is the son of the country’s independence leader, told BBC Focus on Africa.
Voters will elect members of parliament, who then choose the president.