Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Lesotho prepares for early vote to ease crisis

27 February 2015, 09:01

Maseru - Feuding parties in Lesotho's ruling coalition will face off on Saturday in early national elections staged in a bid to restore stability six months after an attempted coup.

The vote is being held around two years ahead of schedule under a political deal brokered by South Africa, which surrounds the mountainous kingdom.

Lesotho's Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, briefly fled to South Africa in August after soldiers occupied police headquarters and encircled his palace.

Thabane accused his deputy Mothetjoa Metsing of working with the army to oust him - an allegation dismissed by Metsing and the military.

Also Read: Lesotho votes amid fears of post-election violence

Campaigning has been largely peaceful but analysts say tensions are high before the parliamentary vote that will pit Thabane's All Basotho Convention (ABC) against Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), alongside other parties.

"The idea of these elections is try to solve a crisis but I think they might perpetuate one," said Gary Staden, a political analyst at NKC Independent Economists.

"My concern is any mess up like failure to deliver ballot papers is going to be interpreted as someone trying to rig the election and that could set off an unrest," he added.

Reliable polls

Commentators have been reluctant to call a winner in the absence of reliable opinion polls.

Metsing told Reuters he expected another coalition government made up of LDC and a smaller rival, the Democratic Congress (DC) party.

"Immediately after our relations with ABC soured, we approached DC and we agreed to work together. They are our natural ally and they are the ones we're going to form a coalition government with," he said.

Also Read: Lesotho to hold vote under heavy regional police presence

Metsing, who has promised faster economic growth to create jobs, said the most pressing issue was peace and stability.

But there was little sign of optimism on the streets of the capital.

"Why bother voting? I am not going to waste my time to vote because this election is all about Thabane and Metsing. It has nothing to do with what we want as voters," said Dineo Motlou, a 22-year sales assistant at supermarket chain.

Thabane was not immediately available to comment.

Stormy relations

Relations have been stormy between ABC and LCD, which have both been ruling the country since 2012, since Thabane dissolved parliament in June to avoid a no-confidence vote.

The state of 2 million people has suffered several coups since independence from Britain in 1966. Post-election unrest could further erode confidence in the $2.3bn economy, which is forecast to expand by nearly 5% this year.

Besides textile exports and a slice of regional customs receipts, Lesotho's other big earner is water piped to South Africa, which makes it of strategic importance to Pretoria.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...