BDNP con­tin­ues fight for PR seats

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

the Ba­sotho Demo­cratic Na­tional Party (BDNP) is still fight­ing for a seat in the Na­tional assem­bly.

the party on Mon­day urged the Court of ap­peal to rule the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) made a mis­take by omit­ting votes for in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates when al­lo­cat­ing pro­por­tional rep-

re­sen­ta­tion (PR) seats af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions.

af­ter the party lost a pe­ti­tion against the IEC in the high Court on 24 septem­ber 2015 on the is­sue, it ap­pealed the de­ci­sion hence Mon­day’s hear­ing. how­ever, the Court of ap­peal re­served judg­ment to 29 april 2016.

ad­dress­ing the court on Mon­day, BDNP lawyer, King’s Coun­sel

Molefi Ntl­hoki said the IEC broke the elec­toral law by omit­ting the votes in ques­tion.

“the law makes it clear that all valid votes should be in­cluded to make what we call a na­tional vote so that any cal­cu­la­tion is made on proper fig­ures. It is clear that if all votes, in­clud­ing those that were cast for in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates, were in­cluded, the al­lo­ca­tion of

seats in the Na­tional assem­bly would have been af­fected,” King’s Coun­sel (KC) Ntl­hoki said.

The elec­toral law de­fines an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date as a po­lit­i­cal party for pur­poses of elec­tions, he added.

“If we are to go by that in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what a party is, it means the votes cast for in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates should have been in­cluded

when cal­cu­lat­ing the na­tional vote for the al­lo­ca­tion of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion seats,” he said.

how­ever, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the IEC, KC Karabo Mo­hau said elec­toral sched­ules de­scribe how a party is con­sid­ered for pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion. KC Mo­hau said the law stip­u­lates that for a party to be con­sid­ered for PR, it should sub­mit a list of can­di­dates to the IEC to show its in­ter­est.

he said it was the in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates’ de­ci­sion to waive their right to be con­sid­ered for pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion and the IEC was right in omit­ting their votes.

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