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Opposition parties say Botswana president's challenge to vice president vote is intimidation

FILE -  In this Tuesday, Oct. 28 2014, President of Botswana Ian Khama attends a swearing-in ceremony for a second and final term as Botswana president at the National Assembly buildings in Gaborone, Botswana.   Opposition parties in Botswana say the president is undermining the role of parliament after he challenged the process of electing a vice president.   (AP Photo)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 28 2014, President of Botswana Ian Khama attends a swearing-in ceremony for a second and final term as Botswana president at the National Assembly buildings in Gaborone, Botswana. Opposition parties in Botswana say the president is undermining the role of parliament after he challenged the process of electing a vice president. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Opposition parties in Botswana say the president is undermining the role of parliament after he challenged the process of electing a vice president.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change said Tuesday that President Ian Khama's request that members of parliament elect a vice president by a show of hands was a form of intimidation. Khama and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party were re-elected in last month's general election.

Last week, the president's lawyers approached the attorney general to petition the court to change the voting process from a secret ballot. In Botswana, publicly elected members of parliament select the vice president, speaker and deputy speaker. October's election resulted in the highest number of seats won by the opposition.

Botswana's court will decide this week whether a show of hands is constitutional.