Voters in Lesotho have given former prime minister Thomas Thabane and the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party 48 parliamentary seats in elections held on June 3, according to the southern African nation’s Independent Electoral Commission. The commission released the results on Tuesday.
The ABC also received the most votes, leaving Thabane poised to forge a coalition that, according to ABC secretary general Samonyane Ntsekele, will be announced within the next two days. The ABC is expected to align with the the Alliance of Democrats (AD) led by Monyane Moleleki, Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) to form the country’s third coalition government.
“Lesotho must now become a full member of the international community that lives according to the basic principles of democracy,” said Thabane, stressing the importance of reform and Lesotho’s African Union, SADC and other global commitments, as he appeared at the polls to cast his own vote on Saturday. “I am meaning before I retire to make Lesotho a beacon of hope for Africa.”
Thabane returned from South Africa in March after leaving Lesotho for his safety in 2014, following what he described as an attempted coup. He said that Lesotho’s political future was his motivation for returning.
Lesotho voters returned to the polls for the third time in five years following a March 1 no-confidence parliamentary vote against Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who replaced Thabane in 2015. That left weary voters with what analyst James Wan described as a choice “between two tried, tested and untrusted prime ministers and two different shaky coalitions” unlikely to inspire confidence in their constituents.
Image: All Basotho Convention