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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Lesotho's 2015 elections in the context of an ongoing security vacuum
Author:Sejanamane, Mafa M.ISNI
Year:2016
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Volume:25
Issue:3
Pages:288-302
Language:English
Geographic term:Lesotho
Subjects:elections
2015
national security
SADC
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10246029.2016.1197137
Abstract:After inconclusive elections in 2012, Lesotho had a coalition government for the first time, made up of three political parties that had a narrow majority in parliament. The new government, however, faced several challenges, some of which were of its own making. The agreement among the three parties was to literally divide the government into three parts, leading to a continuous stalemate in its operation; the most serious consequence was the prorogation of parliament and the resultant attempted coup. The flight of the prime minister to South Africa and his return under a Southern African Development Community (SADC) security detail provided a short-term solution to Lesotho's security crisis. Under Cyril Ramaphosa's mediation, the prorogued parliament was conditionally opened and the election date set for 28 February 2015. However, the security dilemma - whereby the prime minister, who is also minister of defence, has no control over the military - remains. When elections are held, there does not seem to be a guarantee that they will be held in peace; moreover, there are now fears that the losers will not accept the results of the elections because of the security vacuum in Lesotho. This article argues that peace can only be salvaged by enhanced SADC security before, during and after the elections. It argues that the SADC mission should remain beyond the elections to oversee the constitutional changes that are necessary for ensuring long-term stability. On their own, Lesotho politicians are unlikely to be able to work together in order to move the country forward. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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