Mokhochane re­turn good for IEC

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THE re­turn of Mphasa Mokhochane to the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) is very much welcome. His long ex­pe­ri­ence, both as deputy di­rec­tor and as act­ing di­rec­tor in all pre­vi­ous IECS is a valu­able ad­di­tion to the cur­rent elec­tion man­age­ment body.

His sus­pen­sion from of­fice was ques­tion­ably and re­gret­tably ef­fected at a crit­i­cal point in the history of pol­i­tics and elec­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion in Le­sotho. I hope it was not a get-out-of-the-way move.

Dur­ing his early years at the IEC, he ably ad­dressed au­di­ences. His math­e­mat­ics back­ground en­abled him to con­vince even the un­en­light­ened to com­pre­hend the for­mula on the al­lo­ca­tion of the 40 pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion/com­pen­satory seats.

Ev­ery­one had to be on board be­fore that en­act­ment. Our IEC is cur­rently in court be­cause of its al­lo­ca­tion of those very seats af­ter the 2015 snap elec­tion. Un­less con­vinced to the con­trary, this is the first ex­pe­ri­ence for our IEC.

There is strong belief that he could pro­vide a con­vinc­ing ex­pla­na­tion on how two such un­equal po­lit­i­cal par­ties can have an equal num­ber of com­pen­satory seats. Even to the con­trary, he can ably ex­plain how/why that may not hap­pen. We how­ever now await the court’s rul­ing on this.

All in all, the IEC will be much stronger now, if he gets the recog­ni­tion he de­serves. The im­me­di­ate chal­lenge to the IEC is the next lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. A rep­e­ti­tion of the bad ex­pe­ri­ences of the Fe­bru­ary 2015 elec­tions has to be avoided.

Just as an ex­am­ple, the han­dling of the sta­tion di­ary book has to be done well, polling sta­tions need to be uni­form and the ap­proved fi­nal vot­ers’ lists should not be amended dur­ing the elec­tion process. In the event this is nec­es­sary and le­gal, all polling sta­tions have to be treated alike, con­stituency bal­lot pa­pers should be iden­ti­cal for all the polling sta­tions of each, filed com­plaint forms must be re­sponded to and not ig­nored /filed and put away.

Luck­ily, the IEC now has its best and most re­source­ful man back.

Makha­bane Maluke.

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