Opposition party sweeps to power in Lesotho

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosi­sili resigned after his party, the Democratic Congress Party (DCP), failed to win a ma­jority in parliamentary elections held on 26 May. The DCP secured 48 of the 120 seats, more than any other party but not enough to form a government. Shortly before the elections, Mosisili cut ties with his former party, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), which was suffering from internal power struggles, and formed the DCP.

The LCD finished third and is negotiating with the second-place All Basotho Conven­tion – together, they have 56 seats but will need to work with smaller parties in order to secure a majority. This will be Lesotho’s first coalition government.

Mosisili will now head the opposition after 14 years in power. He first took of­fice following the tumultuous and violent elections in 1998 that resulted in military intervention by South Africa and Botswana to help restore order. Outside observers agreed that this year’s election was largely free and fair.


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