Mokhochane return good for IEC
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.