Ramaphosa's Lesotho visit reaps success

Today wrapped Cyril Ramaphosa’s successful three-day visit to Lesotho that resulted in the signing of the Maseru Facilitation Declaration. (Mike Goldwater)

Today wrapped Cyril Ramaphosa’s successful three-day visit to Lesotho that resulted in the signing of the Maseru Facilitation Declaration. (Mike Goldwater)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Lesotho’s parliament will reconvene in two weeks and that elections have been brought forward.

 “Lesotho’s national general election will take place in February 2015 and His majesty King Letsie the Third will reconvene parliament on the 17th of October 2014,” Ramaphosa told reporters in Maseru. 

Ramaphosa said parliament will be dissolved at the beginning of December in preparation of elections and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission will remain in Lesotho until after the elections have been concluded. The SADC mission is made up of various disciplines including the  police and will focus on secutiry and peace. 

“We have no doubt whatsoever that Lesotho [Independent Electoral Commission] has the capability to run forthcoming elections on a free and fair basis,” said Ramaphosa.   He added: “Military people and police will be working with Lesotho counterparts to bring situation under control.”  

Ramaphosa emphasised that SADC was in Lesotho for assistance and to give support, not to take over. Ramaphosa said Lesotho’s experience with coalition politics was new.
He added that Lesotho has shown commitment to the process because the country has already sent a multi-party team to New-Zealand to learn intricacies of multi-party democracy.    

“They will find ways to make it work. I’m sure they will find some reforms to make multi-party work, but this will be entirely the decision of the people of Lesotho,” said Ramaphosa.

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