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Lesotho

Monthly Updates

October 2022

Lesotho held its general election on 7 October. Of the 65 political parties that contested the election, the newly formed Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party emerged with the largest presence in the National Assembly, the lower house of Lesotho’s Parliament, winning 56 of the 120 seats - members of Lesotho’s upper house, the Senate, are not elected. The RFP’s failure to win a majority of seats meant they have had to form a coalition government with the Alliance of Democrats and the Movement for Economic Change. The government is headed by RFP’s leader, Sam Matekane, who was sworn in as Prime Minister on 28 October. Voter turnout was 34.7 per cent, 9.0 per cent lower than in the last general election in 2017. The preliminary findings of international observers praised the elections for being well run and peaceful, but raised concerns about poorly regulated campaign finance, a lack of independent information, and the low representation of women (they accounted for just 33.0 per cent of candidates).         

September 2022
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On 12 September, Lesotho’s Constitutional Court struck down a long-awaited package of constitutional reforms that had been passed less than two weeks earlier to pave the way for next month’s general election. The passage of the reforms, which were intended to tackle the country’s notorious political instability, had come after the dissolution of parliament for the election, and had been made possible only by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro declaring a State of Emergency that allowed him to recall parliament. The Court, however, judged the declaration to be unconstitutional, finding that the circumstances did not amount to a state of emergency. The ruling was then confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 19 September and so the country will now hold the election under an unreformed framework. This may risk further instability. However, the Southern African Litigation Centre, a human rights organization, welcomed the ruling’s reinforcement of the rule of law.

August 2022

On 29 August Lesotho’s Parliament passed a long-awaited package of constitutional reforms that pave the way for the country’s general elections, which are scheduled to take place on 7 October 2022. The reforms are aimed at tackling the constitutional causes of the political instability that have plagued the country in recent years and threatened the integrity of the forthcoming elections, including excessive prime ministerial powers, a lack of judicial independence, a weak parliament, politicized security agencies and a lack of media independence. Details of the legislation, as passed, are yet to emerge in the media. The passage of the reforms after the constitutionally mandated dissolution of parliament in July and before the general election was made possible only by the Prime Minister, Moeketsi Majoro, declaring a State of Emergency. The reform process began in 2012.

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GSoD Indices Data 2012-2021

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
2 159 070
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane (since 2022)
Head of government party
Revolution for Prosperity
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Mixed Member Proportional system
Women in lower or single chamber Tooltip
24.4%
Women in upper chamber Tooltip
21.2%
Last legislative election
2022
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
4.01
Head of state
King Letsie III
Selection process for head of state
Hereditary or election by hereditary state rulers
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
22/01/2020
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
79.15%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
State Party
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
State Party
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
State Party
in
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Early Warning System BETA

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Low risk of democratic breakdown Low risk of democratic breakdown (BETA)
Low risk of democratic backsliding Low risk of democratic backsliding (BETA)

Attributes Over Time

Representative government neutral Representative Government
Jul 2022
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec 2022
Representative government neutral Fundamental rights
Jul 2022
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec 2022
Representative government neutral Checks on government
Jul 2022
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec 2022
Representative government neutral Impartial administration
Jul 2022
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec 2022
Representative government neutral Participatory engagement
Jul 2022
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec 2022

GSoD Indices

Regime type
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