African Union head of observer mission Raila Odinga yesterday met top military leaders of Lesotho in efforts to ensure the snap elections called to resolve the political crisis in that country are held in a peaceful and democratic manner without the interference of the military.
The military leaders are said to have committed themselves to neutrality, leaving the electoral contest to the country’s civilians. Counting is already underway.
Lesotho elections was called forward to restore normalcy after the country plunged into a power crisis with top political leaders fighting to control the democratic monarchy. Lesotho is a sovereign enclave within South Africa.
The struggle led to an attempted coup which the military denied.
The then Prime MinisterÂ Thomas Thabane escaped to South Africa after which the Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing declared himself PM. However, South Africa intervened, with SADC not recognizing the unconstitutional changes in power. Thabane then returned and resumed his duties, later dissolving parliament and calling for a snap vote under a peace agreement negotiated by South Africa’s Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Opposition leaderÂ Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili is poised to win but may not garner enough votes to form a unitary government, meaning Lesotho may again come under a coalition regime.
AU sent Odinga to oversee the polls.
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