Ballots have been collected and are now being counted in the small landlocked African country of Lesotho. Called a “snap election” because of how fast it is scheduled and conducted, Lesotho is trying to avoid growing unrest by having empty government positions filled. This is all happening after a political crises involving Lesotho’s Prime Minister threatened to turn the country on its head. Hopefully, Lesotho can arrive at a solution to it’s political crises through the practices of democracy.
Thankfully, the round of national voting was peaceful. South Africa played a key mediating role to ensure that the vote was legit. Estimates say 1.2 million people were registered to vote.
Last year, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane disbanded the country’s parliament to prevent his removal. Since then he has fled the country, believing he was the victim of a planned military coup. After his leave, Lesotho’s military attacked a police headquarters in the capital Maseru.
Thabane was brought back to Lesotho by South African police in early January. He has denounced the elections. That said, he did actually cast his vote.
Many believe the fair results of this election will bring stability back to Lesotho. If the outcome is disputed however, Lesotho might return to a period of violence.