Home News Lesotho opposition in the lead after snap poll: results

Lesotho opposition in the lead after snap poll: results

Published on 04/03/2015

Final results Wednesday in restive Lesotho's snap elections show the opposition outdistancing Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's party, reversing early indications that the ruling party was in the lead.

But neither Thabane’s party nor the opposition Democratic Congress led by former premier Pakalitha Mosisili picked up the minimum 61 seats required to form a government, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Thabane had held a narrow lead during early counting of the Saturday vote that aimed to bring stability to the tiny southern African kingdom after a failed coup in August last year.

But the final tally dropped him to second place with 46 of the 120 national assembly seats and the opposition Democratic Congress holding 47 seats.

The two major parties technically have two weeks to woo their smaller counterparts to form a coalition, but the opposition now stands better-placed.

Completely landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho is one of the world’s poorest countries.

It has been in crisis since June 2014, when Thabane suspended parliament to avoid a motion that would have seen him ousted from power after the previous fragile coalition government fell apart.

On August 30, soldiers attacked police headquarters, looting weapons and killing one officer.

Thabane described the violence as a coup attempt fuelled by the opposition and fled to neighbouring South Africa.

Both the military and opposition denied any bid to seize power.