The King of Lesotho has set 26 May as the date for eagerly awaited general elections following a successful dialogue that ended the deadlock among the main political players. Agreement was reached one year ago after lengthy negotiations mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political challenges in the country. “King Letsie III, in accordance with section 37 (1) of the 2011 National Assembly Election Act, and acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, proclaims that May 26 will be Election Day,” said a statement released by Prime Minister Mosisili Pakalitha in March. King Letsie III dissolved the Lesotho Parliament on 15 March to pave way for campaigning by the country’s 10 political parties. Post-electoral dissatisfaction emerged in Lesotho after the 2007 elections as the opposition party refused to accept the results, plunging the country into a crisis.
This resulted in a negotiating team comprising heads of churches in Lesotho and facilitators from the SADC Troika being put in place by southern African leaders to address the situation. Stakeholders to the meditation process included the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho, the former ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), opposition parties and the government.
The agreement led to the amendment of the Lesotho Electoral Law and the constitution in preparation for the forthcoming elections. The ultimate result of this was the presentation of the National Assembly Electoral Bill 2011 and the 6th Amendment to the Constitution to the Parliament in March last year. The run-up to the elections was made exciting by Mosisili’s defection from the LCD to form a new party called Democratic Congress. In office since May 1998, Mosisili remained prime minister while the LCD became the main opposition party.
Full Article: allAfrica.com: Lesotho: King Announces May Election.