Lesotho elections ‘calm and peaceful’ despite political turmoil, Commonwealth observers report
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Lesotho elections ‘calm and peaceful’ despite political turmoil, Commonwealth observers report

Commonwealth observers in Lesotho Sunday released a statement commending the people of Lesotho for the “calm and peaceful atmosphere” during the nation’s 2022 general elections. The Commonwealth sent a six person team to monitor the polls in Lesotho at the request of Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group and former President of Seychelles Danny Faure highlighted the positive findings. Faure wrote, “[w]e applaud the patience and determination of the voters who did come out, to exercise their civic rights and do so patiently in lines up, at early hours of the day, in inclement weather, and in sometimes challenging mountainous terrains.” The report also commended the IEC’s policies that made voting more accessible to people with disabilities and seniors.

However, the group identified some areas of concern, including inconsistent voter rolls. The group recommended:

The IEC and the legislator should review the procedures for compilation of the voter register to better ensure its reliability in particular as regards, duplicates, removal of deceased persons, and inclusion of youth. Finalizing the voters’ roll at an earlier point in the process would enable an electronic copy to be issued to parties further in advance.

On September 28, Amnesty International urged Lesotho officials to address police brutality and misconduct before and after the election period.