n Journal of African Elections - The 2007 general election in Lesotho : managing the post-election conflict




The optimism triggered by Lesotho's transition from military dictatorship to multiparty democracy and the reform of the electoral system from the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system to the mixed member proportional (MMP) system may be fizzling out. In 1993 the country underwent an historic transition from military dictatorship to embrace multiparty democracy through an epoch-making election. Since then it has held four multiparty elections. The first two (1993 and 1998) were held on the basis of the FPTP electoral system, while the latest two (2002 and 2007) were held on the basis of the new MMP system. However, the extent to which these multiparty elections have added value to democratisation in the country still remains moot. Almost all the elections held under the FPTP system were contentious and their outcomes evoked both violent and non-violent responses from defeated parties. Following the introduction of the MMP system there were high expectations that levels of violent conflict would subside. This was indeed the case after the 2002 general election, but this trend changed after the 2007 election, which was marred by violence which triggered directintervention from the Southern African Development Community.


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