Party Alliances and Political Coalitions During the 2007 General Election in Lesotho

In 2007, for the first time in Lesotho’s political history, some political parties formed formal electoral pacts, variously dubbed alliances or coalitions, to fight the general election of 17 February. The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy and the newly formed All Basotho Convention entered into alliances with their smaller counterparts, the National Independent Party and the Lesotho Workers’ Party respectively, as polling day neared. While the benefits of these alliances for the partners may not be in doubt, what is doubtful is the ability of the arrangement to expand democracy and comply with the goal and thrust of the mixed member proportional electoral and parliamentary model adopted as a panacea for incessant election-centred conflict. Also raising serious questions is the apparent fraud that went along with the process of forming the alliances. Yet this conundrum inheres in the country’s two-ballot electoral system, which apparently allows political parties registering for elections to choose between fielding candidates in constituencies and targeting party votes only.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP), Basutoland African Congress (BAC), Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Lesotho Workers’ Party (LWP), Mahatammoho-a-Poelano, National Independent Party (NIP)