BUSINESS mogul, Sam Matekane’s Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party has taken a commanding lead in Lesotho’s general elections.
The seven-month-old party had won 47 out of the 64 constituencies announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday evening. It now needs 14 more seats from the remaining 15 constituencies and the yet-to-be announced proportional representation (PR) seats to secure an outright win to enable it to govern alone.
Its nearest challenger, the Mathibeli Mokhothu-led Democratic Congress (DC) was a distant second with just 14 seats. While the RFP has put up splendid showing that has placed it in a good position to achieve an outright victory, the poll results announced so far also reflect the spectacular collapse of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) which has failed to win a single seat.
With only 15 constituencies still to be announced, it is unlikely that the ABC will any of them, more so as they are in the rural areas where the party has fared poorly in the past.
The fall of the ABC is even more spectacular in that the lead party in the outgoing governing coalition has so far fared worse than smaller parties like the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Alliance of Democrats (AD), National Independence Party (NIP) and Socialist Revolutionaries. These parties have won a seat each.
The RFP could well break the decade-long jinx of political parties failing to secure an outright win to enable them to govern alone.
Throughout the campaign period, Mr Matekane emphasised the need for his party to govern alone to allow it to fully implement its developmental agenda to lift Lesotho out of endemic poverty, high unemployment levels and rampant crime.