Monday 21 August 2017

Lesotho Opposition Leads as Vote Count Passes Two-Thirds Mark

Lesotho Opposition Leads as Vote Count Passes Two-Thirds Mark
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
Lesotho Opposition Leads as Vote Count Passes Two-Thirds Mark

Lesotho’s main opposition party took a commanding lead as the constituency vote count from June 3 elections in the tiny southern African mountain kingdom passed the two-thirds mark.

With results tallied from 57 of the 80 constituencies, Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention, or ABC, had won 45 parliamentary seats, the ruling Democratic Congress, or DC, led by Pakalitha Mosisili, had secured eight and four smaller parties one each, the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission announced in the capital, Maseru. Results from the southern part of the country, a ruling-party stronghold, haven’t been announced.

Under Lesotho’s electoral rules, 80 National Assembly seats are allocated to the candidates who win the most votes in each constituency, while another 40 seats are allotted according to a proportional representation system. The winners of three of the constituency seats won’t be announced because the candidates had died and by-elections will be held in three months time. Ballots from those areas will be included in the proportional vote tallies, the electoral commission said.

The prime minister is elected by the National Assembly. Mosisili held the post from May 1998 to June 2012, when he lost power to Thabane. Mosisili reclaimed power in 2015 elections, but the opposition forced him from office after winning a motion of no confidence in his seven-party coalition government on March 1.

One of the world’s least developed countries, Lesotho supplies water and labor to neighboring South Africa and exports textiles and mohair. It has a history of political instability and attempted coups.

Mathabiso Ralengau

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