Lesotho election reveals no outright winner
The final results of Lesotho’s general elections revealed no clear winner as the ruling All Basotho Congress (ABC) party narrowly edged out its nearest rivals in the weekend poll, data on the website of the country’s electoral commission showed on 4th March Incumbent Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s party won 40 constituencies, just three more than the Democratic Congress (DC), as the close race tested the durability of a South Africa-brokered truce following an alleged attempted coup last August. No one party won enough votes to govern alone, meaning the country will get another coalition government.
Lesotho has a mixed parliamentary system. Eighty lawmakers are voted into power by constituents, while another 40 seats are distributed proportionally after the final tally to ensure all parties are represented. A party needs 61 of the 120 seats available to rule without being forced into a coalition.
In the last fragile coalition government, the ABC did not hold the majority of seats in parliament, but outmanoeuvered the winning DC by teaming up with several smaller parties, including the Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which has since rescinded its allegiance.
The major parties have two weeks to woo their smaller counterparts in the hope of forming a majority and with it, take control of the national assembly.
The elections were transparent and fair, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission said on 2nd March. The African Union (AU) described the election as “peaceful” but noted continuing security concerns in the wake of the failed coup in August last year which prompted Thabane to flee to South Africa.
(Mail & Guardian /Johannesburg)