Oct. 13, 2022


3 min read

Lesotho villagers dream of change after general elections

Lesotho villagers dream of change after general elections

A young family in rural Lesotho

Story highlights

    Matekane has promised to focus on economic emancipation
    Voters picked candidates from more than 60 parties in the elections

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VILLAGERS from Thaba-Bosiu on the outskirts of Maseru hope the country will usher into a new era following Friday’s general elections.

Lesotho has been governed for the past decade by coalitions, with no Prime Minister serving out a full five-year term.

For the 1.5 million people registered to vote, insecurity and better life prospects were key election factors.

"People are getting killed here in Lesotho in big numbers, children are being harassed, raped, and our old ladies are being killed in big numbers," said ’Makamohelo Hlehlisi, a resident of Thaba-Bosiu.

"I want to see my party, if they become the next ruling one, to look into these things, and also create jobs for the youth, because the youths are not working. We are waiting for too many things," the woman added.

The economy of the nation is based on subsistence farming and animal husbandry as well as small-scale industries. 

Estimates for poverty levels remained at 36% in 2021 (based on $2.15 /person/day), according to the World Bank.

To bring about the change they wanted to see, voters picked candidates from more than 60 parties.

"We just want changes, there should be peace around our nation, there should be growth, and we should all live together happily, those are the things we need," Hlehlisi also said.

Meanwhile, the leader of the newly formed coalition between the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Sam Matekane has promised that the new administration shall focus on economic emancipation, combating crime and completion of the reforms process in its first 100 days of office.

The union comes just days after his newly formed party, the RFP was declared as the winner of the 2022 general elections after collecting a total of 56 constituencies, beating close competitors, the Democratic Congress (DC) who won 18 constituencies.

The DC was compensated with 11 proportional representative seats after the final counting of votes.

Monyane Moleleki’s AD brings to the table five seats while the MEC of Selibe Mochoboroane comes with four. This, after each of the two parties, won a constituency in the Friday general elections.

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This means the three partners shall lead the country with a total of 65 seats in parliament for the next five years while the rest of the other parties will form the opposition.

The outgoing government is led by the All Basotho Convention. 

Nkaku Kabi's (ABC) main challengers included Mathibeli Mokhothu, who heads the DC. No one is expected to win outright observers saw little prospect of an end to the country's long-running political gridlock.

The 120-seat parliament is chosen by a mixed electoral system -- 80 lawmakers are voted in by constituents, while another 40 seats are distributed proportionally.

The outgoing parliament failed to pass a law aimed at strengthening political stability, by banning lawmakers from switching party allegiance within the first three years of their tenure. – Africanews

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