Lesotho general election, 2012
120 seats of the National Assembly of Lesotho
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politics and government of
General elections were held in Lesotho on 26 May 2012. The incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's newly formed Democratic Congress won a majority of single-member seats. He also won his seat by the second-largest margin of victory. However, they only had a plurality in the overall tally and coalition talks are taking place.
As a result of the impact of the Arab Spring in 2011, protests occurred against the government in regard to unemployment, poverty and low salaries. The protests eventually had the support of taxi drivers, unions, students and opposition political parties. They also demanded to meet Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who had at times refused to do so.
Parties and campaign
Before the election, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy suffered a split because of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's refusal to cede power. He then founded a new party called the Ntsu Democratic Congress, in reference to the founder of the LCD Ntsu Mokhehle. The LCD's secretary-general Mothetjoa Metsing then moved to lead the LCD.
Tom Thabane leads another faction that broke away in 2006, the All Basotho Convention, which is expected to benefit from the infighting of the other two parties. Voters' primary demands were reportedly job creation and an improvement in "basic services." The LCD's Metsing said that he would not take part in a national unity government. In like measure ABC ruled out working with LCD.
Most polls predicted a plurality for the Democratic Congress. One tribal chief, Mohato Bereng, said that he would vote for change in supporting the Lesotho Congress for Democracy. Incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili had an approval of rating of 39% a month before the election. Two days before the election, Mosisili said that DC would get a simple majority.
Former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, who headed the Commonwealth of Nations' electoral observer team, said that despite a history of coup d'etats he was assured by the army and police that there would be no interference. There were also electoral monitoring teams from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.
Voting centres were opened from 7:00 at 17:00. Vote counting started at the vote centres in Maseru before they closed. The official results were expected the day after the vote due to the remoteness of some communities. Maliako Ralejoe of the Independent Electoral Commission said at the end of the day that: "Currently most of the urban areas have been counted, which is a good indicator. We have had challenges with the rural areas as some areas are still counting, but Maseru is complete. We estimate that [on 29 May] we will be able to announce the final verdict." On 27 May, the IEC suspended the electoral count because of "serious logistical problems." This caused tension in Maseru and opposition parties led by ABC pressured the IEC to release the result.
Voter turnout was 564,451 or 50.04%.
|Democratic Congress (DC)||218,366||39.58||41||7||48||New|
|All Basotho Convention (ABC)||138,917||25.18||26||4||30||13|
|Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)||121,076||21.94||12||14||26||36|
|Basotho National Party (BNP)||23,788||4.31||0||5||5||2|
|Popular Front for Democracy (PFD)||11,166||2.02||1||2||3||2|
|National Independent Party (NIP)||6,880||1.25||0||2||2||19|
|Lesotho Peoples' Congress (LPC)||5,021||0.91||0||1||1|
|Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP)||3,433||0.62||0||1||1|
|Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP)||3,300||0.60||0||1||1|
|Basotho Congress Party (BCP)||2,531||0.46||0||1||1|
|Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP)||2,440||0.44||0||1||1|
|Lesotho Workers' Party (LWP)||2,408||0.44||0||1||1||9|
|All Democratic Corporation (ADC)||1,933||0.35||0||0||0|
|Lekhotla La Mekhoa le Moetlo (LMM)||1,691||0.31||0||0||0|
|Areka Covenant Front for Development (ACFD)||1,227||0.22||0||0||0|
|Sankatana Social Democratic Party (SSDP)||1,081||0.20||0||0||0|
|African Unity Movement (AUM)||714||0.13||0||0||0|
|White Horse Party (WHP)||252||0.05||0||0||0|
|Source: Independent Electoral Commission, Independent Electoral Commission, African Elections Database|
List of elected MPs
|37||Maseru District||Abia||Motsoahae Thomas Thabane||ABC|
|33||Maseru District||Thetsane||Mamothibe Bernice Chaule||ABC|
|35||Maseru District||Lithotheng||Majoro Nephtali Mohapi||ABC|
|34||Maseru District||Qoaling||Chalane Clatus Phori||ABC|
|32||Maseru District||Maseru##||Edward Haae Phoofolo||ABC|
|55||Mafeteng District||Mafeteng#||Temeki Phoenix Tsolo||ABC|
|24||Berea District||Teya-Teyanang#||Prince Maliehe Maliehe||ABC|
|5||Butha-Buthe District||Butha-Buthe#||Motlohi Maliehe||ABC|
|28||Berea District||Khubetsoana||Thabiso Masenkane Samuel Monyatsi||ABC|
|2||Butha-Buthe District||Hololo||Teboho Charles Letsela||DC|
|58||Mohales Hoek||Mohale's Hoek#||Retselisitsoe Masenyetsi||DC|
|57||Mohales Hoek||Qhalasi||Palo Alphoncis Leteete||DC|
|4||Butha-Buthe District||Qalo||Thabang Linus Kholumo||PFD|
|53||Mafeteng District||Likhoele||Khotso Letsasi||DC|
|14||Leribe District||Tsikoane||Khotso Matla||LCD|
|15||Leribe District||Maputsoe||Mampho Marystella Mokhele||LCD|
|23||Berea District||Khafung||Motlalepula Khaahloe||LCD|
|30||Maseru District||Motimposo||November Pitso Maisa||ABC|
|38||Maseru District||Thaba-Bosiu||Boomo Frank Sofonia||ABC|
|49||Mafeteng District||Kolo||Paul Teboho Lehloyenya||DC|
|54||Mafeteng District||Qalabane||Motlalentoa Letsosa||DC|
|18||Leribe District||Kolonyama||Lebesa Maloi||LCD|
|17||Leribe District||Peka||Tlali Khasu||ABC|
|16||Leribe District||Likhetlane||Timothy Thahane Thahane||LCD|
|8||Leribe District||Thaba-Phats'oa||Mahala Molapo||ABC|
|9||Leribe District||Mahobong||Mothejoa Metsing||LCD|
|11||Leribe District||Matlakeng||Mafalatsi Joyce Lekhatla||LCD|
|22||Berea District||Malimong||Magents Leshoboro Joseph Mohlajoa||ABC|
|25||Berea District||Tsoana-Makhulo||Joseph Tsoeu Molise||ABC|
|29||Berea District||Mabote||Paul Sekhulumi Ntsoaole||ABC|
|42||Maseru District||Koro-Koro||Thabiso Enerst Litšiba||ABC|
|48||Mafeteng District||Thaba-Phechela||Molahlehi Malefane||DC|
|52||Mafeteng District||Thabana-Morena||Selibe Mochoboroane||LCD|
|56||Mohales Hoek||Taung||Phallang Monare**||DC|
|71||Qachas Nek||Tsoelike||Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili||DC|
|12||Leribe District||Leribe||Leketekete Victor Ketso||LCD|
|27||Berea District||Berea||Matela Solomon Khojane||ABC|
|20||Berea District||'Makhoroana||Charles Nyebe Tsibela||ABC|
|13||Leribe District||Hlotse#||Makabelo Priscilla Mosothoane||LCD|
|3||Butha-Buthe District||Motete||Tumaole Clement Lerafa||DC|
|50||Mafeteng District||Matelile||Maimane Philemon Maphathe||DC|
|26||Berea District||Thupa-Kubu||Tsietsi Ezekiel Lethole||ABC|
|1||Butha-Buthe District||Mechachane||Apesi Ratsele||LCD|
|10||Leribe District||Pela-Ts'oeu||Solomon Montsuoe Lethoba||LCD|
|59||Mohales Hoek||Mekaling||Kamoho Joseph Moroeng||DC|
|41||Maseru District||Maama||Mankoe James Maime||ABC|
|36||Maseru District||Lithabaneng||Matebatso Doti||ABC|
|6||Leribe District||Maliba-Matso||Francis Mokoto Hloaele||DC|
|7||Leribe District||Mphosong||Bataung Leleka||DC|
|31||Maseru District||Stadium Area||Moshoete Mophato Monyake||ABC|
|39||Maseru District||Machache||Monyane Moleleki||DC|
|43||Maseru District||Qeme||Kali SeitLheko||DC|
|44||Maseru District||Rothe||Manthabiseng Arcylia Phohleli||DC|
|45||Maseru District||Matsieng||Matsepo Ramakoae***||ABC|
|46||Maseru District||Makhaleng||Mootsi Samuel Lehata||DC|
|74||Thaba-Tseka District||Thaba-Tseka#||Maneo Mathabo Nelly Moremoholo||DC|
|19||Berea District||Mosalemane||Liau Amos Ntlele****||DC|
|21||Berea District||Bela-Bela||Litsoane Simon Litsoane||ABC|
|51||Mafeteng District||Maliepetsane||Michael Mpalipali Molefe||ABC|
|60||Mohales Hoek||Qaqatu||Lethusang Daniel Kompi||DC|
|64||Quthing District||Tele||Ndiwuhleli Ndlomose*****||DC|
|69||Qachas Nek||Qacha's Nek#||Pontšo Matumelo Susan Sekatle||DC|
|40||Maseru District||Thaba-Putsoa||Tsukutlane Joel Au||DC|
|61||Mohales Hoek||Mpharane||Phutuhelo Daniel Mafereka||DC|
|76||Thaba-Tseka District||Mashai||Tšoeu Phineas Mokeretla||DC|
|78||Mokhotlong District||Senqu||Likeleli Tampane Monare||DC|
|79||Mokhotlong District||Mokhotlong#||Tlohang Sekhamane||DC|
|65||Quthing District||Moyeni||Mahooana Rapitso George Khati||DC|
|47||Maseru District||Maletsunyane||Lawson Kotiti Diholo||DC|
|67||Quthing District||Mount Moorosi||Kose Julius Makoa||DC|
|77||Mokhotlong District||Malingoaneng||Serealong Kemuel Qoo||DC|
|66||Quthing District||Sebapala||Kabelo Mafura||DC|
|68||Quthing District||Qhoali||Mathibeli Edwin Mokhothu||DC|
|75||Thaba-Tseka District||Semena||Jobo Joseph Sekautu||DC|
|70||Qachas Nek||Lebakeng||Henry Semano Sekatle*||DC|
|62||Mohales Hoek||Ketane||Marefuoe Alice Muso||DC|
|63||Mohales Hoek||Hloahloeng||Ntlhoi Motsamai||DC|
|72||Thaba-Tseka District||Mantsonyane||Masuthang Agnes Taole||DC|
|73||Thaba-Tseka District||Thaba-Moea||MokhokolI Bethuel Seutloali||DC|
|80||Mokhotlong District||Bobatsi||Makhabane Gilbert Maluke||DC|
* Largest margin of victory by just over 92.9% of votes.
**Won by 33 votes over ABC's Ramoshebi Maboee Moletsane (39 ballots were "rejected").
***Won by 39 votes over DC's Mokhele Stephen Moletsane (19 ballots were "rejected").
****Won by 94 voted over ABC's Tsoinyana Samuel Rapapa (161 ballots were "rejected")
*****Smallest margin of victory by 14 votes over LCD's Doreen Chaoana-Mapetsa (47 ballots were "rejected")
##District and national capital
Ramahoana Matlosa, who lost his bid to become a MP from Maseru District, sad that the DC failed to attract the youth vote. "Of course we knew the ABC would be strong in urban areas. But if you add our numbers to the LCDs, we would have beaten them. It's just that the ABC had an advantage because their number stayed the same and we split." The AU and SADC monitoring teams said of the election that "we are delighted that the voting and counting took place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility."
Electoral observers said the election was largely free and fair. The Commonwealth of Nations' Bakili Muluzi said that "we chose democracy in Africa. And we should allow democracy to prevail.
An unnamed senior party member of DC said that they had begun coalition talks with ABC, but would also look to open talks with LCD if those failed. He also said that the party could try to lure in individual MPs from the other parties if all options failed, while adding that "we are confident that we will lead the new government. We are also not political buffoons not to know that we have to start serious engagements with any coalition partners immediately." DC upped their attempts to build a coalition with LCD upon realising they would not get a majority after proportional seats were allocated. Confidantes to ABC's Thabane said that he was confident of winning the seats necessary to head a coalition government with the other parties, who could possibly get a share of the proportionally allocated seats. An unnamed party member said that "we are in serious discussions with the LCD but most will depend on the final tally of the seats. The LCD is our first preference for any coalition as we have all been in the opposition," but that this was subject to the proportional seats being allocated "properly."
On 30 May, ABC's Thabane told the BBC that he had formed a coalition to give him a majority in parliament. His coalition included the LCD, Basotho National Party, Popular Front for Democracy and the Marematlou Freedom Party. He also said that the government's priorities would be "poverty, lack of jobs, lack of school opportunities, absence of schools at the right places, lack of proper infrastructure, particularly health services. We have gone way below what we were a few years ago, and that's inexplicable. We put power in the hands of the wrong people and we are taking it away from them."
Mosisili resigned on 31 May and would be the Leader of the Opposition. Following this Lincoln Ralechate Mokose, the secretary general of DC, said the party would seek coalition partners and that "we will either succeed or fail. [If the party fails] our stand is to concede and work in parliament as opposition." ABC's secretary-general, Thabiso Litšiba, said it could be a week before the new parliament meets and officially chooses the new Prime Minister.
Prior to the vote, Hoolo 'Nyane, the director of the Transformation Resource Centre, said that the lack of a governing coalition "would be a very disturbing scenario. [A repeat of the 1998 stand-off and violence which led to the death of 58 locals and eight South African soldiers, as well as large damages in Maseru were] not completely unlikely." He added that "the entire young and urban vote is in revolt against Mosisili."
The coordinator of development for Peace Education, which monitored the election, Sofonea Shale, said that "maybe the politics of arrogance have come to an end, and we'd be turning a new page based on politics of negotiation. A coalition government is highly likely, which is why I'm saying it's time for a new era. A coalition needs parties to negotiate."
On 29 May, the Lesotho Times reported that the LCD were likely to be "heavily compensated" by the proportionally allotted seats due to finishing second in many constituencies. Most DC votes were in rural areas, while politicians and observers said that an ABC-LCD coalition was likely.
- The change figure does not account for the defected MPs who left with Mosisili to join the Democratic Congress, but instead is represents the change from the seats won by the LCD as a party in the previous election.
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- Statement of the Independent Electoral Commission on the announcement of the result - by the Chairperson Molula-Setulo.
- Party list candidates for all parties