KORO-KORO – Outspoken political scientist, Professor Mafa Sejanamane has described the 3 June elections as worst in terms of addressing critical challenges facing Lesotho.
The country is set for elections, the third in five years after the premature dissolution of the Ninth Parliament last month.
The elections were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of last month’s successful parliamentary no confidence motion by the opposition bloc against the seven parties’ coalition government headed by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress (DC) party.
The government had only served two out of its five year term.
However, Professor Sejanamane said the elections would not resolve the country’s plethora of social, economic and political challenges.
He said, instead, the numerous party candidates were simply throwing their hats into the ring because they saw parliament as one of those few places where they could secure employment due to the scarcity of jobs in the country.
Professor Sejanamane said this after observing the unveiling of nominated candidates by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), in Koro-Koro constituency yesterday.
“This election is the poorest in terms of election issues. People are not talking about any issues,” Professor Sejanamane said, adding, “What we are just seeing is people expecting to just get votes”.
“There isn’t much we are getting from these people in terms of alternatives. That’s why we have so many parties, because they don’t have any message to sell. They just want to sell themselves as individuals. That is the problem.
“Because there is a shortage of jobs, everyone wants to be in parliament for the sake of being there. If you ask what really they are standing for, they don’t really know.”
He said the failure to draft and implement envisaged political, security sector and legal reforms was likely to result in “elections which are more difficult than any other elections we had in the past”.
The possibility of intimidations is likely to be much higher than any time in the past. This is tragedy of the nation. It is not about strengthening democracy. It is about weakening representation in parliament,” he said.
In Koro-Koro, a total of 22 candidates were announced by the IEC. 19 parties are represented and the remaining three are independent candidates.
Observations by the Lesotho Times crew on the basis of supporters who chanted behind their party candidates in Koro-Koro, suggested that the DC and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) alliance represented by Motseko Mafantiri was the most popular.
The main opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC), represented by Motebang Koma was the second most popular followed by the Alliance of Democrats (AD) represented by Refiloe Litjobo.
Other vibrant parties included the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Basotho National Party (BNP), National Independent Party (NIP) and Basotho Congress Party (BCP), represented by Tšoanelo Ramakeoane, Paseka Paseka, Lepolesa Lepolesa and Thabo Nthonyane, respectively.
Other candidates for the Koro-Koro Constituency are:
Mosele Lejakane (Democratic Party of Lesotho), Khotso Makama (Independent), Mofoka Mosiuoa (True Reconciliation Unity), ’Mamofoka Motete (Marematlou Freedom Party), Ntholi Mosiuoa (White Horse Party), Tsebo Monyako (Basotho African National Congress), ’Manthabiseng Ntirane (Popular Front for Democracy), Liau Ntšaila (Lesotho Workers Party), Joseph Ntšoetsa (Lekhotla la Mekhoa le Meetlo), Kopano Potiane (Independent), Nthabiseng Taole (Reformed Congress of Lesotho), Mokhali Pheko (MDM) and Tšola Tsunyane (Independent).