MASERU, The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has launched its Observer Mission for the June 3 Lesotho legislative elections, with its leader, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr Augustine Mahiga, saying that the 15-nation bloc will stand up if anyone does not accept the outcome of an election if it is declared free and fair.

Mahiga said at the launchingof the SADC Election Observer Mission in Maseru Thursday, said it was disappointing that when Lesotho should be celebrating Africa Day it was preoccupied with forming and stabilising its government.

The SADC says Lesotho is ready for elections and the atmosphere is peaceful. A total of 41 observers from nine SADC member countries will be deployed for the June 3 polls. However, the SADC believes that if Lesotho had implemented constitutional reforms as previously advised, the government would not have collapsed leading to elections being held00 again.

Mahiga, said with three elections being held within five years the fatigued voters deserve a different and durable outcome.

The SADC mission will monitor both pre- and post-election activities and deliver its preliminary statement two days after the election. It urged all parties to accept the outcome if the election is declared free and fair.

Democracy must go with accepting the results; if there are problems, there are judicial mechanisms, but if you just don’t want to accept the results because you are selfish, those of us who are watching must stand up, said Mahiga.

Driving home the message as the continent celebrated Africa Day Thursday, the Tanzanian minister said: It is a strange paradox indeed that on this 25th day of May 2017, marking the historical occasion of the commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), when we should ordinarily be celebrating milestones and the advancement of our societies and the consolidation of our democratic institutions, we are still locked in protracted debates on the basic requirements of forming and stabilising governments.

The SADC team of monitors will be on the ground until June 12 or longer after the election. The sub-regional bloc of which Lesotho is also a member will support the new government of the Mountain Kingdom through the reform process.