Lesotho political parties number rise to 46 parties

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…as IEC registers Five new parties

By Lerema Pheea

Lesotho’s 2022 general elections will see 46 political parties contest in the elections after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) last week issued certificates of registration to five new political parties.

In 2021 alone, the commission, Chairperson Mphasa Mokhochane said registered 11 new political parties that can legally contest elections.

Tuoe Hantši, the Commission’s Communications and Public Relations Manager said it has been discovered that the 11 new parties registered, increase the number of women led parties to four in Lesotho.

The currently registered women led parties, Hantši said are United for Change (UFC) led by ’Malichaba Lekhoaba, (HOPE) by `Machabana Lemphane-Letsie, Reformed Congress of Lesotho(RCL) led by Keketso Rantšo and Prayer Shawl and Light (PSL) by Masechaba Ntšihlele.

The newly registered five political parties are Basotuland Democratic Congress (BDC) led by Molibeli Soro, Yearn for Economic Sustainability (YES) led by Molefi Ntsonyane, Basotho Poverty Solution Party (BPSP) led by Lephoto Thamae, Alliance for Free Movement (AFM) led by Tšoanelo Ramakeoane and Prayer Shawl and Light (PSL) ’Masechaba Ntšihlele.

Mokhochane said the five parties successfully met the political party legal registration requirements as stipulated in the Section 24 of the National Assembly Electoral Act of 2011.

Leaders of the political parties with their party members in tow showed up at the commission’s warehouse to receive their parries certificates of registration with much pomp and fanfare.

The five parties members glad in their various parties regalia sang, whistled and ululated as their leaders were handed their political parties certificates of registration confirming their eligibility to contest the 2022 general elections.

Mokhochane persuaded and pleaded the with political party leader and their members to participate in elections activities including voter education, encouraging voters to cast their vote on election day and most of all represent their parties in elections.

He further asked them to be cognitive to periodically elect the political parties National Executive Committees as one of the democratic pillars and good governance.

He also said that IEC is on the brink of starting a fresh voter registration therefore beseeched these new party leaders to take such task along together to sensitise and appeal to people who are 18-year-old and above to register with the Commission in order to participate in the 2022 general election.

One of the leader of these parties Ramakeoane said Lesotho can only transform if it becomes incorporated into the Republic of South Africa.

Ramakeoane said his party core mandate if pushing for incorporation of Lesotho into South Africa because all parties within the country have right party manifesto but the core problem germinates on how these wishes in the manifestoes are financed.

He said there are different systems that can be adopted for Lesotho to become part of South Africa through either integration and or others and that is only when Lesotho can be redeemed.

Ntšonyane said since time immemorial politicians in Lesotho used youths to campaign in order to garner votes but this time they stand as youth to fight for their vision because they saw inside them they have ability to change this country as youths.