Two days declared public holidays for poll
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.