Lesotho’s February 2015 Snap Elections: A Prescription that never cured the Sickness

Within just two years of its existence, Lesotho’s first coalition government
experienced serious internal conflicts. These conflicts were mainly the result
of the coalition leaders’ failure to balance coalition agreements against the
country’s Constitution. The conflicts paralysed the government and the
National Assembly, and polarised security establishments. These political
developments required mediation by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), which in turn led to holding ‘snap elections’ in
February 2015. This paper discusses the snap elections. Although the
elections helped to form and legitimise a new coalition government, they did
not resolve the structural challenges that had paralysed the first coalition
government. By calling for an early election, SADC mediation failed to
prioritise a solution to the security crisis in Lesotho. Security agencies
remain polarised, and some politicians have aligned themselves with those
agencies to enhance their influence in national politics. The paper concludes
that the snap elections provided only a short-term solution to Lesotho’s
political and security problems. The new coalition government is likely
to experience the same fate as its predecessor. Furthermore, rule of law is
likely to be compromised by the new coalition government for the sake of
internal stability.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: 2015 snap election, coalition government, conflict, security crisis
journal of african elections vol14 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa