US salutes Basotho for peaceful poll
THE United States government has congratulated Basotho on the peaceful conduct of the 28 February general elections.
In a statement released on Monday, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he hoped the polls would move Lesotho beyond a period of political uncertainty and strengthen national unity.
“The US Embassy deployed 18 American and Basotho staff as observers to six of Lesotho’s 10 districts, where they witnessed the opening, voting, closing, and counting in approximately 80 polling stations,” said Mr Kerry.
“Every vote counts and every vote was a victory for Lesotho.”
He lauded the elections as essential to providing a foundation for an “effective, accountable government that serves the needs of the people”.
“We commend Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for organising a professional and well-run poll, especially in light of the compressed timeline,” Mr Kerry said, urging all candidates and political parties to accept the election results and to call on their supporters to do so as well.
He also paid tribute to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for supporting Lesotho’s peaceful election.
“We welcome SADC’s ongoing commitment to helping Lesotho strengthen its democratic institutions and rule of law,” he said
“The United States remains committed to our strong partnership with Lesotho and to achieving our shared objectives of improved health, shared prosperity, and effective and accountable government.”
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also commended Basotho for holding the polls in a peaceful manner.
He singled out the IEC and SADC for praise for leading “efforts to peacefully resolve political challenges in the country”.
Mr Ban also reaffirmed the UN’s “readiness” to support efforts in Lesotho “to consolidate democracy and advance justice and development for the benefit of all the people of the country.”