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Commonwealth Secretary-General visits Lesotho ahead elections
26 April 2017

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has visited Lesotho's King Letsie III in order to prepare for Commonwealth involvement ahead of the mountain kingdom's June the third election.

Scotland says no electoral model is perfect, but she is pleased all stakeholders agree to prioritise reforms as they will address Lesotho's model shortfalls.

An envoy from the Queen of England's Commonwealth paying a courtesy call on the Lesotho’s King Letsie III.

On a visit intended to pave the way for a conducive environment for elections.

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland says they had actually planned to come to Lesotho before the elections to talk about peace building commonwealth she says this is their peace building year.

Assistance to Lesotho has included support with the development of parliamentary governance, observation of elections, and the follow up of the observer group's recommendations to strengthen democracy and improve electoral processes.

“We have been working very hard as you know with Lesotho for a number of years on the whole reform agenda and i am so thrilled to know that so many of the parties I believe it’s all of them have signed the pledge to make the reform programme a priority and this is something for all the people in Lesotho everyone seems to be committed to this.”

The Commonwealth was instrumental in Lesotho adopting its current mixed member proportional parliamentary system since 2002.

In 2007, elections were followed by instability due to alliances formed before elections.

It's the second time a coalition government under that model collapsed since the 2012 elections.

“No electoral system in the world is perfect all of them are in need of some change and some adjustment so looking at the hard work that has been put into the programme up to date we know we are on a journey and no one i have spoken to says its perfect we don't need to do more reform, everyone has said to me what Dr Prasad from the Commonwealth has done what SADC has done is to say we need to reform.”

Scotland maintains there is good practice in effective coalition governance throughout the Commonwealth for Lesotho to draw from.

She is expected to meet the clergy, civil society and political stakeholders.


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