THERE was pomp and fanfare as election candidates for the Thetsane Constituency and their supporters clad in their parties’ regalia gathered for the official announcement of candidates at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) office yesterday.
The country will hold elections on 3 June.
King Letsie III dissolved the National Assembly on 6 March 2017 and then called for elections after a four-party opposition bloc mustered enough support to oust the Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili-led government in a parliamentary no-confidence vote.
Of the 20 candidates that were announced and certified by the Thetsane Constituency No. 33 Returning Officer, Mokete Makhatha yesterday, All Basotho Convention (ABC) candidate, Moeketsi Majoro was escorted by the largest crowd.
He was followed by the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) candidate, Malothoane Mathiba and ‘Maboiketlo Maliehe of the Alliance of Democrats (AD).
Other crowd pullers were candidates representing the Democratic Congress (DC) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) alliance as well as the Basotho National Party (BNP).
Mr Makhatha announced the names of the candidates to the cheering masses of supporters who turned up at the IEC office in the constituency.
Makhatha also said of the 20 candidates only six were women.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of the event, Tahleo Mont’si of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), said his party’s campaign was premised on fighting corruption and empowering and protecting women from abuse.
For his part, Malothoane Mathiba of MEC said his party was campaigning on the three major pillars of economic development, speedy service delivery and putting the interests of Lesotho and Basotho first.
On the other hand, Thabo Thokoa of the DC said the congress parties’ alliance was premised on ensuring a people-centred ideology prevails against elitist right wing parties.
Mr Thokoa said the DC would strengthen the country’s democracy through reforms and ensure the autonomy of statutory bodies like the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO).
“We are contesting this election united as congress parties to ensure we do not let our nationalist rivals to win. We are getting rid of the problems we are faced with,” he said.
ABC candidate, Moeketsi Majoro said his party would ensure economic development, good governance and the rule of law.
Mr Majoro said the country had not witnessed any meaningful developments in the past 25 years and it was time for change through the implementation of sound development policies.
He also said the past two years had been characterised by lawlessness and impunity with rampant killings, adding it was time to elect a competent ABC government to turn around the country’s fortunes.
“We are now saying enough is enough with this election as we want to see justice and rule of law observed in the country,” Mr Majoro said.
BNP candidate, Machesetsa Mofomobe said as an industrial area, one of the major needs of the Thetsane constituency was a functional police station to ensure the safety of thousands of women workers.
Full list of candidates:
Matima Matobako (Truth Reconciliation Unity), Matjama Makhang (Lesotho People’s Congress), Mbhele Mbuyizwa (Basutoland African National Congress), Machesetsa Mofomobe (BNP), Maime Paseka (Basotho Congress Party), Moeketsi Majoro (ABC), Maboiketlo Maliehe (AD), Malothoane Mathiba (MEC), Nthabiseng Babeli (Marematlou Freedom Party), Lehlohonolo Jane (National Independent Party), Mabakoena Lehlohonolo (Democratic Party of Lesotho), Moeketsi Mabaleha (Baena), Tahleo Mont’si (RCL), Tholase Nyabela (Lekhotla la Mekhoa le Meetlo), Molantoa Phelane (MDM), Motseki Ramateneng (Sankatana Social Democratic), Mohlomi Taeli (Popular Front for Democracy), Matallere Thebe (Lesotho Workers Party), Thabo Thokoa (DC) and Malefetsane Thatho (Independent).