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2012 Lesotho general election

General elections were held in Lesotho on 26 May 2012. The incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's newly formed Democratic Congress won a majority of single-member seats. He also won his seat by the second-largest margin of victory.[1] However, they only had a plurality in the overall tally and coalition talks are taking place.

2012 Lesotho general election

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120 seats of the National Assembly of Lesotho
  First party Second party Third party
  Pakalitha Mosisili with Obamas cropped.jpg Tom Thabane.jpg H.E. Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing, Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Lesotho (8008839925) (cropped).jpg
Leader Pakalitha Mosisili Tom Thabane Mothetjoa Metsing
Leader's seat Qacha's Nek District-Tsoelike Maseru District-Abia Leribe District-Mahobong
Last election New 17 62
Seats won 48 30 26
Seat change Increase48 Increase13 Decrease36[nb 1]

Prime Minister before election

Pakalitha Mosisili

Elected Prime Minister

Tom Thabane


As a result of the impact of the Arab Spring in 2011, protests occurred against the government in regard to unemployment, poverty and low salaries. The protests eventually had the support of taxi drivers, unions, students and opposition political parties. They also demanded to meet Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who had at times refused to do so.[2][3][4][5]

Parties and campaignEdit

Before the election, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy suffered a split because of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's refusal to cede power.[6] He then founded a new party called the Ntsu Democratic Congress, in reference to the founder of the LCD Ntsu Mokhehle. The LCD's secretary-general Mothetjoa Metsing then moved to lead the LCD.[7]

Tom Thabane leads another faction that broke away in 2006, the All Basotho Convention, which is expected to benefit from the infighting of the other two parties. Voters' primary demands were reportedly job creation and an improvement in "basic services."[8] The LCD's Metsing said that he would not take part in a national unity government.[9] In like measure ABC ruled out working with LCD.[10]

Opinion pollsEdit

Most polls predicted a plurality for the Democratic Congress. One tribal chief, Mohato Bereng, said that he would vote for change in supporting the Lesotho Congress for Democracy.[8] Incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili had an approval of rating of 39% a month before the election.[6] Two days before the election, Mosisili said that DC would get a simple majority.[11]


Former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, who headed the Commonwealth of Nations' electoral observer team, said that despite a history of coup d'etats he was assured by the army and police that there would be no interference.[12] There were also electoral monitoring teams from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.[13]


Voting centres were opened from 7:00 at 17:00. Vote counting started at the vote centres in Maseru before they closed. The official results were expected the day after the vote due to the remoteness of some communities.[8] Maliako Ralejoe of the Independent Electoral Commission said at the end of the day that: "Currently most of the urban areas have been counted, which is a good indicator. We have had challenges with the rural areas as some areas are still counting, but Maseru is complete. We estimate that [on 29 May] we will be able to announce the final verdict."[14] On 27 May, the IEC suspended the electoral count because of "serious logistical problems."[15] This caused tension in Maseru and opposition parties led by ABC pressured the IEC to release the result.[16][17]

Voter turnout was 564,451 or 50.04%.[18]

e • d Results of the 26 May 2012 National Assembly of Lesotho elections
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Constituency PR Total
Democratic Congress (DC) 218,366 39.58 41 7 48 New
All Basotho Convention (ABC) 138,917 25.18 26 4 30  13
Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 121,076 21.94 12 14 26  36
Basotho National Party (BNP) 23,788 4.31 0 5 5  2
Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) 11,166 2.02 1 2 3  2
National Independent Party (NIP) 6,880 1.25 0 2 2  19
Lesotho Peoples' Congress (LPC) 5,021 0.91 0 1 1  
Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP) 3,433 0.62 0 1 1  
Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) 3,300 0.60 0 1 1  
Basotho Congress Party (BCP) 2,531 0.46 0 1 1  
Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP) 2,440 0.44 0 1 1  
Lesotho Workers' Party (LWP) 2,408 0.44 0 1 1  9
All Democratic Corporation (ADC) 1,933 0.35 0 0 0  
Lekhotla La Mekhoa le Moetlo (LMM) 1,691 0.31 0 0 0  
Areka Covenant Front for Development (ACFD) 1,227 0.22 0 0 0  
Sankatana Social Democratic Party (SSDP) 1,081 0.20 0 0 0  
African Unity Movement (AUM) 714 0.13 0 0 0  
White Horse Party (WHP) 252 0.05 0 0 0  
Independents 5,502 1.00 0 0 0  
Invalid/blank votes 12,725
Total 564,451 100.00 80 40 120
Registered voters/turnout 1,127,980 50.04
Source: Independent Electoral Commission, Independent Electoral Commission, African Elections Database

List of elected MPsEdit

District Constituency MP[1] Party
37 Maseru District Abia Motsoahae Thomas Thabane ABC
33 Maseru District Thetsane Mamothibe Bernice Chaule ABC
35 Maseru District Lithotheng Majoro Nephtali Mohapi ABC
34 Maseru District Qoaling Chalane Clatus Phori ABC
32 Maseru District Maseru## Edward Haae Phoofolo ABC
55 Mafeteng District Mafeteng# Temeki Phoenix Tsolo ABC
24 Berea District Teya-Teyanang# Prince Maliehe Maliehe ABC
5 Butha-Buthe District Butha-Buthe# Motlohi Maliehe ABC
28 Berea District Khubetsoana Thabiso Masenkane Samuel Monyatsi ABC
2 Butha-Buthe District Hololo Teboho Charles Letsela DC
58 Mohales Hoek Mohale's Hoek# Retselisitsoe Masenyetsi DC
57 Mohales Hoek Qhalasi Palo Alphoncis Leteete DC
4 Butha-Buthe District Qalo Thabang Linus Kholumo PFD
53 Mafeteng District Likhoele Khotso Letsasi DC
14 Leribe District Tsikoane Khotso Matla LCD
15 Leribe District Maputsoe Mampho Marystella Mokhele LCD
23 Berea District Khafung Motlalepula Khaahloe LCD
30 Maseru District Motimposo November Pitso Maisa ABC
38 Maseru District Thaba-Bosiu Boomo Frank Sofonia ABC
49 Mafeteng District Kolo Paul Teboho Lehloyenya DC
54 Mafeteng District Qalabane Motlalentoa Letsosa DC
18 Leribe District Kolonyama Lebesa Maloi LCD
17 Leribe District Peka Tlali Khasu ABC
16 Leribe District Likhetlane Timothy Thahane Thahane LCD
8 Leribe District Thaba-Phats'oa Mahala Molapo ABC
9 Leribe District Mahobong Mothejoa Metsing LCD
11 Leribe District Matlakeng Mafalatsi Joyce Lekhatla LCD
22 Berea District Malimong Magents Leshoboro Joseph Mohlajoa ABC
25 Berea District Tsoana-Makhulo Joseph Tsoeu Molise ABC
29 Berea District Mabote Paul Sekhulumi Ntsoaole ABC
42 Maseru District Koro-Koro Thabiso Enerst Litšiba ABC
48 Mafeteng District Thaba-Phechela Molahlehi Malefane DC
52 Mafeteng District Thabana-Morena Selibe Mochoboroane LCD
56 Mohales Hoek Taung Phallang Monare** DC
71 Qachas Nek Tsoelike Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili DC
12 Leribe District Leribe Leketekete Victor Ketso LCD
27 Berea District Berea Matela Solomon Khojane ABC
20 Berea District 'Makhoroana Charles Nyebe Tsibela ABC
13 Leribe District Hlotse# Makabelo Priscilla Mosothoane LCD
3 Butha-Buthe District Motete Tumaole Clement Lerafa DC
50 Mafeteng District Matelile Maimane Philemon Maphathe DC
26 Berea District Thupa-Kubu Tsietsi Ezekiel Lethole ABC
1 Butha-Buthe District Mechachane Apesi Ratsele LCD
10 Leribe District Pela-Ts'oeu Solomon Montsuoe Lethoba LCD
59 Mohales Hoek Mekaling Kamoho Joseph Moroeng DC
41 Maseru District Maama Mankoe James Maime ABC
36 Maseru District Lithabaneng Matebatso Doti ABC
6 Leribe District Maliba-Matso Francis Mokoto Hloaele DC
7 Leribe District Mphosong Bataung Leleka DC
31 Maseru District Stadium Area Moshoete Mophato Monyake ABC
39 Maseru District Machache Monyane Moleleki DC
43 Maseru District Qeme Kali SeitLheko DC
44 Maseru District Rothe Manthabiseng Arcylia Phohleli DC
45 Maseru District Matsieng Matsepo Ramakoae*** ABC
46 Maseru District Makhaleng Mootsi Samuel Lehata DC
74 Thaba-Tseka District Thaba-Tseka# Maneo Mathabo Nelly Moremoholo DC
19 Berea District Mosalemane Liau Amos Ntlele**** DC
21 Berea District Bela-Bela Litsoane Simon Litsoane ABC
51 Mafeteng District Maliepetsane Michael Mpalipali Molefe ABC
60 Mohales Hoek Qaqatu Lethusang Daniel Kompi DC
64 Quthing District Tele Ndiwuhleli Ndlomose***** DC
69 Qachas Nek Qacha's Nek# Pontšo Matumelo Susan Sekatle DC
40 Maseru District Thaba-Putsoa Tsukutlane Joel Au DC
61 Mohales Hoek Mpharane Phutuhelo Daniel Mafereka DC
76 Thaba-Tseka District Mashai Tšoeu Phineas Mokeretla DC
78 Mokhotlong District Senqu Likeleli Tampane Monare DC
79 Mokhotlong District Mokhotlong# Tlohang Sekhamane DC
65 Quthing District Moyeni Mahooana Rapitso George Khati DC
47 Maseru District Maletsunyane Lawson Kotiti Diholo DC
67 Quthing District Mount Moorosi Kose Julius Makoa DC
77 Mokhotlong District Malingoaneng Serealong Kemuel Qoo DC
66 Quthing District Sebapala Kabelo Mafura DC
68 Quthing District Qhoali Mathibeli Edwin Mokhothu DC
75 Thaba-Tseka District Semena Jobo Joseph Sekautu DC
70 Qachas Nek Lebakeng Henry Semano Sekatle* DC
62 Mohales Hoek Ketane Marefuoe Alice Muso DC
63 Mohales Hoek Hloahloeng Ntlhoi Motsamai DC
72 Thaba-Tseka District Mantsonyane Masuthang Agnes Taole DC
73 Thaba-Tseka District Thaba-Moea MokhokolI Bethuel Seutloali DC
80 Mokhotlong District Bobatsi Makhabane Gilbert Maluke DC

* Largest margin of victory by just over 92.9% of votes.
**Won by 33 votes over ABC's Ramoshebi Maboee Moletsane (39 ballots were "rejected").
***Won by 39 votes over DC's Mokhele Stephen Moletsane (19 ballots were "rejected").
****Won by 94 voted over ABC's Tsoinyana Samuel Rapapa (161 ballots were "rejected")
*****Smallest margin of victory by 14 votes over LCD's Doreen Chaoana-Mapetsa (47 ballots were "rejected")
#District capital
##District and national capital


Ramahoana Matlosa, who lost his bid to become a MP from Maseru District, sad that the DC failed to attract the youth vote. "Of course we knew the ABC would be strong in urban areas. But if you add our numbers to the LCDs, we would have beaten them. It's just that the ABC had an advantage because their number stayed the same and we split." The AU and SADC monitoring teams said of the election that "we are delighted that the voting and counting took place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility."[13]

Electoral observers said the election was largely free and fair. The Commonwealth of Nations' Bakili Muluzi said that "we chose democracy in Africa. And we should allow democracy to prevail.[19]

Government formationEdit

An unnamed senior party member of DC said that they had begun coalition talks with ABC, but would also look to open talks with LCD if those failed. He also said that the party could try to lure in individual MPs from the other parties if all options failed, while adding that "we are confident that we will lead the new government. We are also not political buffoons not to know that we have to start serious engagements with any coalition partners immediately."[10] DC upped their attempts to build a coalition with LCD upon realising they would not get a majority after proportional seats were allocated.[20] Confidantes to ABC's Thabane said that he was confident of winning the seats necessary to head a coalition government with the other parties, who could possibly get a share of the proportionally allocated seats. An unnamed party member said that "we are in serious discussions with the LCD but most will depend on the final tally of the seats. The LCD is our first preference for any coalition as we have all been in the opposition," but that this was subject to the proportional seats being allocated "properly."[10]

On 30 May, ABC's Thabane told the BBC that he had formed a coalition to give him a majority in parliament.[21] His coalition included the LCD, Basotho National Party, Popular Front for Democracy and the Marematlou Freedom Party.[22] He also said that the government's priorities would be "poverty, lack of jobs, lack of school opportunities, absence of schools at the right places, lack of proper infrastructure, particularly health services. We have gone way below what we were a few years ago, and that's inexplicable. We put power in the hands of the wrong people and we are taking it away from them."[21]

Mosisili resigned on 31 May and would be the Leader of the Opposition. Following this Lincoln Ralechate Mokose, the secretary general of DC, said the party would seek coalition partners and that "we will either succeed or fail. [If the party fails] our stand is to concede and work in parliament as opposition." ABC's secretary-general, Thabiso Litšiba, said it could be a week before the new parliament meets and officially chooses the new Prime Minister.[19]


Prior to the vote, Hoolo 'Nyane, the director of the Transformation Resource Centre, said that the lack of a governing coalition "would be a very disturbing scenario. [A repeat of the 1998 stand-off and violence which led to the death of 58 locals and eight South African soldiers, as well as large damages in Maseru were] not completely unlikely."[12] He added that "the entire young and urban vote is in revolt against Mosisili."[13]

The coordinator of development for Peace Education, which monitored the election, Sofonea Shale, said that "maybe the politics of arrogance have come to an end, and we'd be turning a new page based on politics of negotiation. A coalition government is highly likely, which is why I'm saying it's time for a new era. A coalition needs parties to negotiate."[23]

On 29 May, the Lesotho Times reported that the LCD were likely to be "heavily compensated" by the proportionally allotted seats due to finishing second in many constituencies.[9] Most DC votes were in rural areas, while politicians and observers said that an ABC-LCD coalition was likely.[10]


  1. ^ The change figure does not account for the defected MPs who left with Mosisili to join the Democratic Congress, but instead is represents the change from the seats won by the LCD as a party in the previous election.


  1. ^ a b "IEC Live Results 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  2. ^ "Coletu protests reduced student intake at NUL". 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  3. ^ "Taxi operators to join protest". 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  4. ^ "Lesotho CSOs, political parties to hold mass protest Monday". 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  5. ^ "Lesotho's Mother of All Protests". Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa. 2011-11-23. Archived from the original on 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  6. ^ a b "Lesotho votes in tight three-way race". Daily Times. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  7. ^ "Lesotho: Jumping Before He's Pushed". 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  8. ^ a b c "Polls close in Lesotho's general election". Al Jazeera English. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  9. ^ a b 29 May 2012. "Lesotho: Election Results Force Leaders to Moot Coalition". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  10. ^ a b c d Basildon Peta (2010-05-05). "DC extend lead in Lesotho poll". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  11. ^ "Mosisili says DC set to surpass simple majority : Lesotho Times". 2012-05-24. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  12. ^ a b "Lesotho holds tense election". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  13. ^ a b c Mcgroarty, Patrick. "Lesotho Vote Likely to Yield Coalition -". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  14. ^ "Lesotho opposition takes early election lead". Al Jazeera English. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  15. ^ "Results announcement suspended : Lesotho Times". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  16. ^ "Emotions run high on streets of Maseru : Lesotho Times". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  17. ^ "Parties pressure IEC to release results : Lesotho Times". Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  18. ^ "Voter Turnout by District". Archived from the original on 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ "DC moves to court LCD : Lesotho Times". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  21. ^ a b "BBC News - Lesotho election: Tom Thabane's ABC 'to form coalition'". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  22. ^ "Capital News » Lesotho opposition agrees to form coalition to oust PM". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  23. ^ "Lesotho election neck-and-neck, say observers ahead of result". BusinessGhana. Retrieved 2012-05-29.

External linksEdit