Commonwealth Election Reports

English
ISSN: 
2310-1512 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/23101512
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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.
 
The Lesotho General Election, 25 May 2002

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English
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Author(s):
Commonwealth Observer Group
01 Jan 2002
Pages:
44
ISBN:
9781848597846 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848597846-en

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These Election Reports are the observations, conclusions and recommendations of Commonwealth Observer Groups. The SecretaryGeneral constitutes these observer missions at the request of governments and with the agreement of all significant political parties. At the end of a mission, a report is submitted to the SecretaryGeneral, who makes it available to the government of the country in question, the political parties concerned and to all Commonwealth governments. The report eventually becomes a public document.
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  • Introduction

    The Lesotho General Election of 25 May 2002 was the third national level election held in the country since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1993. Commonwealth Observers were present for the 1993 and 1998 elections.

  • Political Background

    Lesotho, a mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, has its origins as a nation in the 19th century when King Moshoeshoe I rallied the Basotho groups scattered in southern Africa. At the request of the King, after the loss of a substantial part of his kingdom, the British declared a protectorate over the mountain Kingdom in 1868. Basutoland, as it was called at the time, was initially administered by Cape Colony, but in 1884, the British took over direct responsibility for the protectorate.

  • The Electoral Framework and Preparations for the Elections

    The Constitution of Lesotho came into force on 2 April 1993 and was amended in 1996 and 1997. The 1997 amendments established an Independent Electoral Commission and empowered Parliament to make laws relating to the registration of electors, the conduct of elections, the powers, duties and functions of the Electoral Commission and the registration and regulation of political parties. The Second Amendment to the Constitution Act, 1997 also increased the size of the National Assembly to 80 (elected on a first-past-thepost system) and made provision for the functions of the former Constituency Delimitation Commission to be performed by the Electoral Commission.

  • The Campaign, the News Media and Electoral Environment

    The election campaign commenced at the close of nominations and continued until 48 hours before the opening of the poll. Because the Group was only present for the final stages of the campaign its observations must be limited to that period.

  • The Poll and the Count

    The Group was divided into five teams of two that were deployed to various regions on Tuesday, 21 May. These five teams covered nine out of the ten districts of Lesotho; 28 constituencies out of a total of 80; and 124 polling stations out of a total of 2,471.

  • Conclusions and Recommendations

    The main conclusions we have reached.

  • Acknowledgements and Annexes
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