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Uneasy Calm As Lesotho Bungles Political Reforms, Risks Instability Post 2022 Elections

Lack of interest by successive governments, and the poor design of the reform processes poses risk to country's political fabric By Hoolo ‘Nyane The Kingdom of Lesotho – a small landlocked country in southern Africa with a population of 2.1 million people – has failed to introduce key political reforms needed to bring stability to the country. This setback is the latest of many false starts since the reform process started in earnest after the 2012 elections. It had been hoped that the 2022 national election would be held under a new constitutional framework that would help end conflicts in key areas such as the formation of government, coalitions and the electoral system. Lesotho’s history has been punctuated by spasms of political instability since independence in 1966. The reform drive was supposed to have been completed by the end of the five-year term of the latest parliament, on 13 July 2022. Parliament tried, without success, to enact the reforms bill before its dissolution. Even frantic and chaotic efforts to pass it at midnight before the parliament dissolved failed. A chaotic process then followed which involved parliament being recalled and passing the flagship reforms bills.

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