THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it’s all systems go for Saturday’s local government elections and three parliamentary by-elections.
There are 11 urban councils, 65 community councils, 77 councils, 950 electoral divisions and 922 voting stations country wide.
In all the 950 electoral divisions, the All Basotho Convention (ABC) will be contesting in 888, Democratic Congress in 840, Alliance of Democrats in 722, Lesotho Congress for Democracy in 437, Basotho National Party (BNP) in 418, Movement for Economic Change in 381 and Reformed Congress of Lesotho in 151.
However, the electoral body has declared failed elections in four Electoral Divisions (EDs) after as many candidates died ahead of the polls.
According to IEC Public Relations Officer, Tuoe Hantši, the four ED candidates who died were from Bolahla #5, Bolahla #6, Menkhoaneng #4 and.
The late candidates for Menkhoaneng #4 and Bolahla #6 were independents, while the candidates for Metsimaholo #7 and Bolahla #5 were from the ABC.
“Those deaths mean that, just like the failed elections in the National Assembly elections, there shall only be one ballot paper used to cast the votes instead of two,” said Mr Hantši.
“The ballot paper bearing candidates shall not be used as there shall be fresh elections whose date is yet to be announced.”
Ahead of the 3 June National Assembly polls, the IEC declared failed elections in the three constituencies after the ABC candidate for Thupa-Kubu constituency, Afrika Makakane, BNP candidate for Hololo constituency, Matela Leakae, and Popular Front for Democracy candidate for Teya-teyaneng #24 constituency, Makalo Jack Mohapi passed away.
As a result of the deaths, the electorates in the constituencies did not vote for the constituency candidates but for the parties they supported for the purposes of proportional representation allocation. The ABC won the most votes in the three constituencies.
The parliamentary by-elections will be held concurrently with the
local government polls.
Saturday’s local government elections will be the third edition since their inception in 2005.
The first local government polls were held in 2005, followed by 2011. The next elections were scheduled for 2016, but were postponed to this year as their with Lesotho’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Meanwhile, White Horse Party and the Basotuland African National Congress have withdrawn from the local government polls.