The Challenge of Political Legitimacy Posed by the 2007 General Election

The placing of electoral democracy at the top of the SADC agenda is steadily beginning to pay dividends – Swaziland is the only country in Southern Africa which does not hold democratic elections. Since democratisation in 1993 Lesotho has held four elections. This paper considers the 2007 election, discussing the electoral process and the subsequent challenges to its legitimacy. The argument advanced is that conflict and contested election outcomes threaten the legitimacy of elected authorities and tend also to threaten the stability of the country’s political system. The institutionalisation of political conflict resolution based on dialogue and tolerance seems to be the preferred way to tackle these problems. Lesotho must embark on deliberate transformation to strengthen the institutions of democracy in order to accommodate emerging political attitudes.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Democratic Party (BNDP), Basutoland African Congress (BAC), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Interim Political Authority (IPA), Lesotho Workers’ Party (LWP), mixed member proportional (MMP), National Congress (BANC), National Independence Party (NIP), Southern African Development Community (SADC)