Lesotho will hold another general election in three months, after two snap elections in 2012, and 2015.

The country’s King Letsie III says he accepted the Prime Minister’s advice to dissolve parliament and hold elections in the interest of unity and to avoid a constitutional crisis.

This is after the Prime Minister lost a vote of no confidence last Wednesday. The opposition intends to challenge the dissolution.
A much-awaited decision from Lesotho’s King Letsie III.

Lesotho Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing says, “This morning, his majesty accepted the advice of the right honourable the prime minister to dissolve the 9th parliament.”

“This means that after the dissolution, the constitution provides for the holding of elections within 90 days after the dissolution of parliament. The electoral law makes a condition that within four days after the dissolution, polling day shall be proclaimed.”

The opposition attempted to invoke the powers of another statutory body, the Council of State to prevent the move.

A response from the office of the King’s Senior Private Secretary .

“His majesty decided in the interest of national unity and to avoid constitutional crises to accede to the advice of the prime minister for dissolution of parliament in preparation for holding of general elections.”

“On further reflection, his majesty deemed it not prudent to convene the council of state as you had requested.”

The opposition hoped to make its last move in parliament, but the Speaker had already affected the Gazette.

Basotho National Party leader Thesele Maseribane says, “We fully understand after being briefed by our legal advisers that there is a case on board and we are preparing to challenge it at the Constitutional Court of Lesotho.”

The government and its allies say they are ready for elections.

Opposition also says it is confident it has support but believes spending another R200 million in the space of two years is not in the best interests of the country.

It is now up to the Independent Electoral Commission to declare its readiness.

– By Nthakoana Ngatane