Election officials in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho on Sunday investigated why armed soldiers had been deployed at many polling stations on voting day. The army has often been accused of interfering in politics in Lesotho, a landlocked African country of two million people that has been hit by attempted coups and instability in recent years. “The nation, the voters and even the observers were surprised… they felt that some voters were intimidated,” Independent Electoral Commission spokesperson Tuoe Hantsi told reporters. “The law dictates who should be at the polling stations, and (the soldiers) caused confusion.”
Saturday’s election was seen as a two-horse race between old rivals Pakalitha Mosisili and Thomas Thabane, who have both served as prime minister.
Thabane fled an attempted military coup in 2014 when he was in power, and analysts say the army could favour Mosisili winning the vote.
The snap election was called when Prime Minister Mosisili, 72, lost a no-confidence vote in March after his seven-party coalition government broke up.