The Transition and Formation of Government after Lesotho’s 2022 Elections

The process of transitioning from one government to another and forming a new government after elections in Lesotho is often fraught with controversy and uncertainty. These problems can be attributed, by and large, to the lack of adequate rules and consistent constitutional practice. The 2022 elections have once again shone the spotlight on these longstanding problems. Like all other elections since 2012, the 2022 elections were inconclusive: no political party received an outright majority to form a government. Since the country uses a parliamentary system, the government depends on the confidence of the National Assembly and the life of the government is pegged to the life of Parliament. The end of the parliamentary term effectively means the end of the government. In terms of the Constitution, once Parliament is dissolved, elections must be held within three months. Within one month after the elections, a new Parliament must sit. While the Constitution provides for the appointment of the prime minister – the king appoints as prime minister a member of the National Assembly who will have the confidence of the House – there are no rules stipulating how the confidence of the House is to be determined. Likewise, the government’s position between the dissolution of Parliament and the forming of a new government is often opaque and precarious. This article examines these inadequacies in the context of the 2022 elections. The article uses content analysis – the examination of primary and secondary documents – to analyse the activities that took place during the transition and formation of a new government in the 2022 elections. The article concludes that the 2022 elections serve to confirm a longstanding problem of inadequate rules and consistent practice relating to the transition and formation of government.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: caretaker government, Constitution of Lesotho, formation of government, lesotho, Lesotho 2022 elections, transition
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