Two days de­clared public hol­i­days for poll

Lesotho Times - - Elections 2015 - Le­tuka Chafotsa

Fe­bru­ary 27 and 28 2015 have been de­clared public hol­i­days to al­low the elec­torate to travel to their re­spec­tive con­stituen­cies for the week­end’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased on Tues­day by Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Moahloli Mphaka, the move is meant to en­sure ev­ery Mosotho casts his or her vote in the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions.

“The Of­fice of the Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary in­forms the Public that pursuant to Sec­tion 3 of the Public hol­i­days Act 1995 and act­ing in ac­cor­dance with the ad­vice of the Min­is­ter of home Af­fairs, King Let­sie III has de­clared Fri­day 27 and Satur­day 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 to be ob­served as Public hol­i­days.

“This is be­ing done for the smooth-run­ning of the elec­tions and to al­low ev­ery cit­i­zen to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tion process,” reads the full state­ment.

Asked if this meant no busi­ness should open on th­ese two days, Mr Mphaka told the Le­sotho Times:

“As much as hol­i­days have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the coun­try’s econ­omy and also af­fect in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses, th­ese two days are meant to build a healthy democ­racy for the fu­ture ben­e­fit of Le­sotho.

“Busi­nesses are there­fore, ex­pected to be closed, both pri­vate and gov­ern­ment, to al­low cit­i­zens to go to their var­i­ous vot­ing sta­tions on th­ese days.

“Like I said, this may ad­versely im­pact on busi­ness but it’s all for a good cause and will bring more benefits to those com­pa­nies and the coun­try as whole, in the long run.”

Le­sotho is hold­ing an early elec­tion fol­low­ing a dra­matic fall­out be­tween the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy lead­ers, who formed a coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter the 26 May 2012 gen­eral elec­tions had re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment.

The elec­tions were bro­kered by the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity through South Africa’s Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril ramaphosa.

Mr ramaphosa be­gan his me­di­a­tion in Septem­ber 2014 and first bro­kered the Maseru Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Dec­la­ra­tion that was signed by all the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal lead­ers on 2 Oc­to­ber 2014.

un­der the deal, Par­lia­ment, which Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane had suspended for nine months on 10 June 2014 to avert a no-con­fi­dence vote in his lead­er­ship, was to re­open on 17 Oc­to­ber and dis­solved on 5 De­cem­ber, with elec­tions tak­ing place on 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Among the rea­sons for the fall­out be­tween the coali­tion lead­ers was Dr Tha­bane’s de­ci­sion to ad­vise the King to sus­pend the leg­is­la­ture with­out first con­sult­ing his gov­ern­ment part­ners, namely LCD leader and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing and Se­nior Min­is­ter and BNP leader Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane.

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