Mimi Machakaire & ’Marafaele Mohloboli
INDEPENDENT Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson, Justice Mahapela Lehohla has urged winners of the recent 3 June elections to be “gracious and the losers to note that it is a mark of courage to accept the loss with dignity of a lost genuine battle”.
Justice Lehohla said this prior to announcing the results done of the polls early this week at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre.
Lesotho held snap elections last Saturday in the wake of the 1 March no confidence vote that was passed by the opposition on the seven parties’ coalition government that was headed by Pakalitha Mosisili.
The Thomas Thabane-headed All Basotho Convention (ABC) emerged the biggest winner, with 47 constituency seats and one proportional representation (PR) seat, bringing their total to 48. The ABC also won three constituencies in which the candidates died before the elections.
The constituency elections for the legislature candidates will be held after 90 days from the polls.
Outgoing Prime Minister Mosisili’s Democratic Congress obtained 26 constituency seats and four PR seats and outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy obtained one constituency seat and 10 PR seats.
Prior to announcing the results, Justice Lehohla appealed to the victors to be magnanimous in victory while at the same time urging losers to accept the outcome of the elections.
He also paid tribute to the IEC for successfully holding the polls.
“It beggars belief that the precipitous gorges and ravines behind us constitute the pathway that we have had to negotiate before reaching this wholesome part of our journey that gives a beckoning scene namely the formation of the 10th Parliament and a new government following the results of 2017 National Assembly Elections,” Justice Lehohla said.
He said the IEC had a mandate to manage democratic elections and referenda as well as educating the public to maximise their participation in the polls.
He said the IEC also had a mandate to ensure a free, fair credible and transparent election process.
He also commended the nation for maintaining peace which was crucial to ensuring fair and credible elections.
Other parties that obtained seats include the Monyane Moleleki-led Alliance of Democrats which won one constituency seat and eight PR seats.
The Selibe Mochoboroane-led Movement for Economic Change won one constituency seat and five PR seats.
The Popular Front for Democracy won one constituency seat and obtained two PR seats.
The Basotho National Party got five PR seats and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho obtained one PR seat.
Others that obtained one PR seat each were the Basotho Congress Party, the Democratic Party of Lesotho, the Marematlou Freedom Party and the National Independent Party.