LESOTHO: PM MOSISILI LOSES GENERAL ELECTION TO FORMER PM THABANE

MASERU, Former Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane has taken the unassailable lead in the country’s parliamentary election, according to the final results published on Tuesday.

Thabane, who made a comeback after a two-year exile, had won the most seats clinching 48 of the 80 directly contested constituencies by Monday night while his arch-enemy and current Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili had won only 16 seats.

Another 40 seats, in the 120 member Parliament, will be allocated on a proportional representation basis.

Under Lesotho’s complicated mixed member proportional representation (MMPR) system, parties that don’t win in the constituencies get more PR seats as long as they meet the required thresholds of minimum votes for PR allocation after the ballots in all the contested constituencies are aggregated. So it is possible for a party that has not won a single constituency to get a substantial chunk of PR seats while a party that has won more constituencies automatically receives fewer PR seats.

This means that Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) will have to forge a coalition with other smaller opposition parties to oust Mosisili as the ABC is unlikely to win the 61 seats required for forming the government outright.

With 68 constituencies announced last night, Thabane had won 48 while Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) had won only 16. The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) of Deputy Prime Minister Methotjoa Metsing, which forged an electoral alliance with the DC, had won only one seat.

The recently formed Alliance for Democracy (AD) of former Home Affairs Minister Monyake Moleleki, who was also Mosisili’s deputy in the DC before he launched his splinter party, had won only one seat. The Movement for Economic Change (MEC), a splinter from the LCD, had won one seat with the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) also winning one seat.

Under Lesotho’s constitution, the leader of the party winning most seats in the 80 contested constituencies is given the first right to form government. In this case, it is Thabane. His lead of 48 constituency seats is unassailable and he will likely form a coalition with the BNP and the AD to form the next government.

The final results the remaining constituencies and the PR allocations will be announced Tuesday.

We intend to form a government with the Democratic Alliance, the Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho, said Samonyane Ntsekele, Secretary General of the Basotho Convention (ABC) .

We will make this coalition government official in the next two days, he added.

Thomas Thabane is expected to return to his post as head of government, three years after he was chased out of the country by a failed military coup.

In August 2014, soldiers attacked police stations in the capital, Maseru, looted arms and killed a peacekeeper. Fearing for his life, Thomas Thabane fled to South Africa. He briefly returned in 2015 for parliamentary elections where he was beaten.

Lesotho, which has been hit by political instability for five years, is one of the poorest countries in the world.

It depends essentially on its South African neighbor which provides much of its water.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK