PR seats court chal­lenge drags on

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

a LAWYER rep­re­sent­ing the Ba­sotho demo­cratic na­tional Party (Bdnp) on tues­day urged the High Court to nul­lify the al­lo­ca­tion of Pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion (Pr) seats for the present 9th Par­lia­ment.

King’s Coun­sel (KC) Ad­vo­cate Molefi Ntl­hoki ntl­hoki made the plea when ad­dress­ing a panel of three High Court judges namely Chief Jus­tice Nthomeng Ma­jara, Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi and Jus­tice Semapo Peete in a case in which the Bdnp is chal­leng­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of 40 PR seats for the Na­tional As­sem­bly fol­low­ing the 28 Fe­bru­ary snap elec­tions.

The three judges were sit­ting as a Court of dis­puted re­turns in line with the na­tional As­sem­bly Elec­tions Act of 2011.

ad­vo­cate ntl­hoki’s com­plaint was the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) erred by ex­clud­ing the votes of in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates when cal­cu­lat­ing the Pr seats.

He sub­mit­ted the ex­clu­sion of the votes re­sulted in a cal­cu­la­tion based on in­cor­rect fig­ures, which dis­ad­van­taged the BDNP.

“Our com­plaint is very sim­ple. We are say­ing af­ter the elec­tions when it came to the al­lo­ca­tion of seats, the first re­spon­dent (IEC) did not ap­ply the for­mu­laor­mula as re­quired by the law.

“If there were valid votes cast for in­de­pen­pen­dent can­di­dates, they hey should have been een in­cluded in the to­talotal votes to al­lo­cate the Pr seats.

“For in­stance, it is not dis­puted thatat (ti­mothy) thah- sec­ond (with 1715 votes) af­ter the ven­tion (with 3 votes were not tional to­tal votes of Pr seats.

“It is wrong ex­clude such num- be­cause it’s from the to­tal votes that a quota for cal­cu­la­tion and al­lo­ca­tion cation of Pr seats is ob­tained,” d,” ad­vo­cate

Mr ane came

all Ba­sotho Con143 votes), yet his in­cluded in the nafor the cal­cu­la­tion

t o bers ntl­hoki said.

the lawyer also said the reg­u­la­tion, which dic­tates the for­mula for Pr seats al­lo­ca­tion, should be de­clared in­con­sis­tent with the spirit of the elec­toral law be­cause it leaves out valid votes.

How­ever, IEC lawyer Karabo Mo­hau (KC) said his clients op­er­ated in terms of the sched­ule of the law that dic­tates how Pr seats should be al­lo­cated.

He also said the court had no pow­ers to nul­lify such as law.

“this hon­ourable court has no pow­ers to grand the prayer that chal­lenges the cor­rect­ness of Sched­ule three,” he said.

deputy at­tor­ney Gen­eral tse­bang Put­soane also said the IEC acted within the con­fines of the law in the seats al­lo­ca­tion.

ac­cord­ing to ad­vo­cate Put­soane, it would not be proper for the court to or­der the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Par­lia­ment to draft a Bill that cancels the present law reg­u­lat­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of Pr seats.

On his part, demo­cratic Congress (dc) lawyer, Sale­mane Phafane (KC) urged the court to dis­miss the case on the grounds his clients were served with court pa­pers 29 days af­ter the stip­u­lated time. ad­vo­cate Phafane ar­gued the law stip­u­lates that the com­plaint shoulds be lodged and served to the resp re­spon­dents within 30 days af­ter the an an­nounce­ment of the re­sults.

“My clients were onl only served on the 18th of May, which is 5 59 days af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the el elec­tion re­sults. “On this ground alone, this ap­pli­ca­tion m must be thrown out,” he sa said. ever, J Jus­tice Ma­jara case to 24 Septem­ber judgme judg­ment. the IE IEC, the Speaker Assem As­sem­bly, Min­is­ter tu­tion tu­tional and Par­li­aat­torn at­tor­ney Gen­eral, ties that con­tested ary 2015 na­tional PR MPS have been den dents in the case.

How- post­poned the this year for

In ad­di­tion to of the na­tional of Law, Con­sti- men­tary af­fairs, all po­lit­i­cal par- the 28 Fe­bru- elec­tions and 40 cited as re­spon-

King’s Coun­sel (KC) Ad­vo­cate Molefi Ntl­hoki Ntl­hoki.

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