n Journal of African Elections - The challenge of political legitimacy posed by the 2007 general election




The placing of electoral democracy at the top of the SADC agenda is steadily beginning to pay dividends - Swaziland is the only country in Southern Africa which does not hold democratic elections. Since democratisation in 1993 Lesotho has held four elections. This paper considers the 2007 election, discussing the electoral process and the subsequent challenges to its legitimacy. The argument advanced is that conflict and contested election outcomes threaten the legitimacy of elected authorities and tend also to threaten the stability of the country's political system. The institutionalisation of political conflict resolution based on dialogue and tolerance seems to be the preferred way to tackle these problems. Lesotho must embark on deliberate transformation to strengthen the institutions of democracy in order to accommodate emerging political attitudes.


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