MASERU, The first step to prepare for legislative elections in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho has been completed as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) closed registration of new voters Sunday and the transfer of voters who have changed their places of residence.

The landlocked country, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, is going to the polls three years early after a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister was adopted in the National Assembly. The tight election time-table gave voters only six days to register from when the registration exercise was announced last Monday.

In less than three months the people of Lesotho will go to the polls again. The snap election has resulted in a very tight election timetable but it seems many are not deterred.

“We are encouraged to see many people around (for registration), they have come out to register in multitudes, but usually they will register but not vote, we also urge them to go and vote,” said the IEC’s Dr Lletholetseng Ntsike.

Seventeen-year-olds who will be 18 on or before polling day on June 3 also had only six days from last Monday to register. New parties have targeted the youth in their campaigning, and they came come out in numbers to register.

“I’m Retlotliloe Moiloa, I’m 26, I want to register to vote because I want to be part of change for a Lesotho that can compete in the economically advancing world,” said one of the youth.

The election timetable is passed by the Council of State, its dates are gazetted into law, and cannot be changed. It is still early days to tell who will vote for whom or where but IEC appeals to registered voters to come out on the 3rd of June.