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Commonwealth Observer Group issues Lesotho elections Interim Statement

5 June 2017

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2017 National Assembly Elections in Lesotho elections has commended the Basotho for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they voted on 3 June, and the professional manner in which the process was managed by the Independent Electoral Commission.  This was Lesotho’s third election in the last five years.  Official results have yet to be announced.

Issuing the Group’s interim statement in Maseru today, former Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba urged all candidates and political parties to continue to uphold their pre-election commitments to peace.

She said: “We wish to congratulate the people of Lesotho for yet again demonstrating their commitment to peaceful, inclusive elections.  A snap election can present significant logistical and administrative challenges for any Election Management Body and the IEC has yet again successfully overcome these.

“We conclude from our observations both prior to, and on, Voting Day that these elections were competitive, and basic freedoms of association, assembly and movement were not compromised.”

Last weekend’s elections were the third conducted within a period of five years in Lesotho.

The expert group of Commonwealth observers arrived in the Southern African Kingdom on 27 May 2017 and also observed the pre-election environment and advance voting.  Their Final Report will be submitted to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, who will subsequently share it with relevant stakeholders before it is made public.

Read the full interim statement here.   

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