SADC meets over Le­sotho

Lesotho Times - - Election 2015 - Keiso Mohloboli

The Southern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity ( SADC) Troika of heads of State and Govern­ment meet to­mor­row in Pre­to­ria, South Africa, over Le­sotho’s 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions.

SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho, Cyril Ramaphosa, made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held at Moshoeshoe I In­ter­na­tional Air­port last Satur­day at the con­clu­sion of a two-day visit to Maseru.

Dur­ing the visit, the South African Deputy Pres­i­dent en­gaged Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane, his deputy Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, and Gen­der Min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘ Maserib­ane in a se­ries of closed-door meet­ings with the feud­ing coali­tion govern­ment lead­ers, whose dra­matic fall­out over the premier’s al­leged dic­ta­to­rial ten­den­cies led to the elec­tions, which come two years ear­lier than orig­i­nally sched­uled.

Mr Ramaphosa also met King Letsie III, re­li­gious lead­ers, non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives and prin­ci­pal chiefs and was then is­sued a pre­lim­i­nary re­port on the coun­try’s state of pre pre­pared­ness for the elec­tions by the SADC as­sess­ment team.

An­nounc­ing to­mor­row’s heads of State and Govern­ment meet­ing in­volv­ing pres­i­dents of Southuth Africa, Zim­babwe and Botswana,na, Mr Ramaphosa said: “From a lo­gis­ti­cal­gis­ti­cal point of view, se­cu­rity is­sue­ses con­cern­ing the elec­tions are cur­rent­lyrrently be­ing ad­dressed and will soonoon be re­solved.

“These are some of the is­sue­ses that are go­ing to be dis­cussed during­ing the SADC Troika heads of State te and Govern­ment meet­ing in Pre­to­riao­ria on 20 Fe­bru­ary.

“I met with Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) lead­ers to­day dur­ing which they com­mit­ted to do any­thing to sup­port the elec­toral­toral process and we agreed that all the sol­diers would stay in the barar­racks on the day of the elec­c­tions and only come out whenn they are asked to pro­vide as­sis­tance.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Ramaphosa, the LDF’S du­ties dur­ing the elec­tions would be con­fined to trans­port­ing bal­lot papers in the re­mote and moun­tain­ous con­stituen­cies.

“The LDF is the only se­cu­rity agency that has avi­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties and in trans­port­ing those bal­lot papers, the po­lice, In­de­pen­dent elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) and mem­bers of ob­server mis­sions would also be there,” he said.

Mr Ramaphosa fur­ther said af­ter meet­ing with all the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers, he was con­vinced the elec­tions would be peace­ful be­cause po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers had in­ti­mated that their cam­paigns were go­ing on well.

“Po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers said they had faced no prob­lems since the cam­paigns started,” he added. Mr Ramaphosa also said the Chris­tian Coun­cil of Le­sotho (CCL) had promised to con­tinue hold­ing prayer ses­sions for peace and sta­bil­ity ahead of the snap polls.

“The Troika meet­ing on 20 Fe­bru­ary will be pre­ceded by the de­ploy­ment of the SADC elec­toral Ob­server Mis­sion on Tues­day, 18 Fe­bru­ary 2015 in Maseru as part of prepa­ra­tions for the forth­com­ing elec­tions,” he added.

Govern­ment Sec­re­tary Moahloli Mphaka said of to­mor­row’s meet­ing: “The SADC Troika heads of State and Govern­ment meet­ing in Pre­to­ria on 20 Fe­bru­ary 2015 will, hope­fully, find an an­swer to out­stand­ing se­cu­rity con­cerns. “The Le­sotho del­e­ga­tion will com­prise Dr Tha­bane, Mr Mets­ing, Chief ‘ Maserib­ane, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mohlabi Tsekoa, Po­lice and De­fence Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­taries Re­filoe Matekane and Thato Mo­ha­soa re­spec­tively and other govern­ment of­fi­cials.

“The govern­ment of Le­sotho wants to make sure the en­vi­ron­ment is con­ducive and se­cure for elec­tions on 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015.”

SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho Cyril Ramaphosa

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