Voter turnout in Lesotho’s 2022 National Assembly elections was at an all-time low of 37%. Since the country returned to multi-party electoral democracy in 1993, voter turnout has steadily decreased. Studies have been undertaken in Lesotho and globally to investigate the reasons for this phenomenon. While the turnout in the 2022 elections is a continuation of the pattern of declining voter turnout in Lesotho and globally, factors specific to each election may provide further insight into this intractable problem. The purpose of this article is to critically analyse the main reasons for the low turnout in the 2022 elections. The study uses qualitative methodology: it relies on primary and secondary data sources such as reports, targeted interviews, newspapers and literature, and legislation. The paper uses Stockemerian clustering of turnout variables to contend that election-specific factors can help to explain the steep decrease in voter turnout in the 2022 elections in Lesotho. Those factors are poor civic and voter education, political fragmentation, and some institutionalist variables.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections