n Journal of African Elections - Lesotho's February 2015 snap elections : a prescription that never cured the sickness

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



Within just two years of its existence, Lesotho's first coalition government experienced serious internal conflicts. These conflicts were mainly the result of the coalition leaders' failure to balance coalition agreements against the country's Constitution. The conflicts paralysed the government and the National Assembly, and polarised security establishments. These political developments required mediation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which in turn led to holding 'snap elections' in February 2015. This paper discusses the snap elections. Although the elections helped to form and legitimise a new coalition government, they did not resolve the structural challenges that had paralysed the first coalition government. By calling for an early election, SADC mediation failed to prioritise a solution to the security crisis in Lesotho. Security agencies remain polarised, and some politicians have aligned themselves with those agencies to enhance their influence in national politics. The paper concludes that the snap elections provided only a short-term solution to Lesotho's political and security problems. The new coalition government is likely to experience the same fate as its predecessor. Furthermore, rule of law is likely to be compromised by the new coalition government for the sake of internal stability.

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