“ONLY the unlikeliest of events like the passing on of all political party candidates can stand in the way of the 3 June general election.”
Such is the confidence of Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Civic Education Officer, Lydia Macheli who said the preparations for next week’s polls were running smoothly with only a few items left on the election time table ahead of the polling day.
Lesotho will hold national elections on 3 June, which were announced by King Letsie after the opposition parties joined hands to topple the Pakalitha Mosisili-led seven parties’ coalition government in a parliamentary vote on 1 March.
With the successful publishing of party candidate lists and the ballot paper already in the country, Ms Macheli said only unforeseen circumstances would stop the election going ahead.
“At this stage we do not expect anything to derail plans for holding elections on 3 June, unless something were to happen to all the party candidates, which is highly unlikely.” she said.
“And this coming Saturday voting for advance electors is also taking place as per the time table. So we are happy with the progress made thus far.”
She further stated that the necessary voting equipment had also been procured and only awaited distribution to the voting stations around the country as soon as the voting personnel had been deployed.
She said they were currently holding trainings for voting station officials and party agents’ representatives which were expected to be concluded in the early part of next week.
“The staff trainings started with the voting station managers and after that we started training voting officials.”
She said that voter education campaigns were ongoing in order to ensure that people would fulfil their civic duty as citizens of the country come the day of elections.
“We are continuing with campaigns in order to rouse the voting spirit among the public to go and vote. This is important so that the people may exercise their right of voting.”
She said that voting gave a practical meaning to democracy.
“Casting a vote by a citizen is also in line with the laws of this country especially the constitution.”
She said there would be tight security during voting and also reminded the public that canvassing for political parties should stop 24 hours before the election day.
“Any persons who will be spotted behaving to the contrary should be immediately reported to the police or IEC officials. This also includes wearing party regalia, which is not allowed on voting day.”
“People should also not bring weapons and intoxicating substances to voting stations as those are not allowed. They should also depart from the voting stations as soon as they have cast their votes,” she said.