n Africa Institute Occasional Paper - Elections, election outcomes and electoral politics in Lesotho

Volume 2002 Number 66
  • ISSN : 0065-387X


Lesotho gained independence from Great Britain in 1966. Since this date, the government or rulers must be appointed through the ballot box in terms of the constitution. This accords with Sections 1(1) of both the 1966 Independence Constitution and the Constitution of Lesotho which came into effect in 1993: "Lesotho shall be a sovereign democratic kingdom". The holding of regular, multiparty elections is often seen as a cornerstone of democracy, and thus elections have been held since 1965 in Lesotho, with a view to the electorate selecting their rulers. The system set out in the 1966 constitution was a 'first past the post' or 'winner takes all' system, bequeathed by the departing colonial power.

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