IEC announces poll schedule
MASERU – The Independent Electoral Commission has released the deadline by which parties are expected to have submitted the names of their candidates for the Local Government elections.
In an interview, the IEC spokesperson, Tuoe Hantši, told Public Eye on Monday this week, preparations were on track for the country’s second edition of the poll, which has been provisionally set for September 10 this year.
“The nomination forms are to be collected from the IEC offices on July 4 and these forms are to be returned between July15-22. The IEC is also expecting to see parties submit their lists for special seats candidates from July 8 to July 18,” Hantši said.
Special seats were created after some parties complained against the reservation of some councils to be contested by women only, and the seats would be allocated on the basis of accumulated votes in every council by each party on a Proportional Representation basis.
Candidates are then expected to be presented to the IEC, clad in their party regalia, on July 22.
The upcoming poll would be Lesotho’s second, countrywide Local Government election, after the first one was held in 2005.
Among the parties contesting the election, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy has already started its candidate-selection process, which comes to an end this weekend.
On the other hand, the main opposition All Basotho Convention, has already started its nomination and is expected to complete the process on July 3, according to party’s secretary general, Sam Rapapa.
“We are looking forward to the election, as it would be the first time that the ABC is going to be taking part in the poll (after having been formed after the 2005 Local Government election in the run-up to the 2007 General Assembly poll),” Rapapa said.
The Basotho National Party, has meanwhile, said it has already started nominating its candidates, according to party leader Thesele ‘Maseribane.
“We are already in the process of nominating the candidates, and the BNP is prepared to contest each and every council throughout the country,” said ‘Maseribane.
He however, said the BNP still felt the IEC had so far, not lived-up to its mandate—that of impartially managing the electoral process.