Lesotho: Basotho Go to the Polls With Yet Another Unstable Coalition in Prospect

Maseru, capital of Lesotho, seen from Parliament Hill.
analysis

Lesotho goes to the polls on Friday to elect a new government, with another messy and unstable coalition likely to be the outcome, once again.

Lesotho's failure to implement critical reforms designed to stabilise the country's chronically turbulent politics suggests it will be politics as usual after the votes have all been counted.

The one new feature is the new Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party just launched by businessman Sam Matekane -- reputed to be a billionaire. He has been promising a new style of politics and drawing large crowds to his flashy rallies, creating expectations that he could pull off an upset victory over the traditional parties.

However, the RFP has not been around long enough to feature in opinion polls so it is not clear how Matekane and the RFP will do.

On Thursday, large parts of the capital Maseru were gridlocked as many residents rushed to get back to their rural villages to cast their votes in the country's constituency system. It was a nightmare to navigate through the city, one South African visitor said. He noted that unlike in South Africa, there were no posters visible advertising the candidates and there was no feeling of elections...

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