LCD chal­lenges elec­tions re­sults

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

THE Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy moc­racy (LCD) has filed a High Court suit seekingek­ing the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of elec­tion re­sults for four con­stituen­cies that were won by the All Basotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) on the grounds thathat there were se­ri­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

LCD and its Deputy Gen­eraleral Sec­re­tary Mpiti Mo­siuoa on Fri­day filedd an elec­tion pe­ti­tion be­fore the High Courtrt chal­leng­ing the le­git­i­macy of the 3 June 2017 elec­tions out­come in four con­stituen­cies namely, Mat­lak­eng #10, Mat­sieng #45, Mphosonghosong #7 and Thaba-phatšoa #8.

Mr Mo­siuoa con­tested un­der the LCD ban­ner in Tšoana­makhulo #25 con­stituen­cyn­stituency and lost to the ABC.

In their court pa­pers the LCDD and Mr Mo­siuoa are seek­ing an or­der that “this hon­ourable court de­clares that the elec­tio­n­ion of the ABC Na­tional Assem­bly mem­bers from rom the above con­stituen­cies as in­valid”.

The ABC mem­bers re­ferred to are Moshe Leoma, ‘Matšepo Ra­makoae, Libe Ge­orge Motšoane and Ma­hala Mo­lapo and they are cited as fourth to sev­enth re­spon­dentsndents re­spec­tively in the court pa­pers.

The four have since been swornrn in as Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.

The LCD and Mr Mo­siuoa fur­therur­ther seek for an or­der: “That 4th to 7th re­spon­dents­dents have not been validly elected.”

Other re­spon­dents are the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC), At­tor­ney-gen­eral King’s Coun­sel Tšokolo Makhethe and ABC as first, sec­ond and third d re­spon­dents re­spec­tively.

The pe­ti­tion­ers also want “thehe 1st re­spon­dent be or­dered to file with thi­sis hon­ourable court and serve your pe­ti­tion­ersers with con­stituency re­sults for Mat­lak­engg Con­stituency both an­nounced at the con­stituen­cyuency and de­clared by the com­mis­sion”.

“The 1st re­spon­dent be or­dered­ered to serve pe­ti­tion­ers with the Gen­eral Elec­tions Fi­nal Roll for Thaba Phatšoa, Mat­lak­eng, ak­eng, Mphosong and Pela-tšoeu con­stituen­cies­en­cies for the June 2017 elec­tions.”

They also want the court to “set aside elec­tions and di­rect fresh elec­tions in those con­stituen­cies”.

In the court pa­pers Mr Mo­siuoa al­leges that: “Your pe­ti­tion­ers aver that one day af­ter reg­is­tra­tion and trans­fer of names had al­ready been closed one Mr Mot­lalepula Motšoane stay­ing at Butha-buthe ar­rived at Bo­lahla Pri­mary School polling sta­tion seek­ing trans­fer of his name to Bo­lahla Polling sta­tion in the Mphosong Con­stituency”.

“Mr Motšoane was how­ever turned down on the ba­sis that the pe­riod for trans­fer of names had lapsed in the pres­ence of one Mr Mpati Mahloane.

“Sur­pris­ingly, how­ever on the 3rd June 2017 Mr Mot­lalepula Motšoane’s name ap­peared on the vot­ers’ roll and he did vote.”

He fur­ther al­leges names of other peo­ple who were ir­reg­u­larly trans­ferred in­clude Motšoane David Motšoane, Kaizer Motšoane, Likeleli Por­tia Motšoane, ‘Mamo­hale Motšoane, Maqatsa Vi­o­let Motšoane and Ti­isetso Motšoane.

“All these peo­ple were not or­di­nar­ily res­i­dents in the Mphosong Con­stituency, they do not orig­i­nate there nor were they work­ing there. These peo­ple, how­ever voted on the 3rd June 2017,” he adds.

He fur­ther al­leges that in Mat­lak­eng con­stituency, the re­sults an­nounced by the re­turn­ing of­fi­cer dif­fered from the ones de­clared by the com­mis­sioner.

“The re­sult an­nounced at the con­stituency was 2 268, while the com­mis­sion de­clared 2 610 for ABC. For AD (Al­liance of Democrats) con­stituency re­sult was 1 301, while the com­mis­sioner de­clared 1 391. For LCD con­stituency re­sult was 1 670, while the com­mis­sion de­clared 1 610.

“Your pe­ti­tion­ers fur­ther aver that in the same Mat­lak­eng con­stituency ir­reg­u­lar trans­fers were made in that some peo­ple were trans­ferred to Mat­lak­eng while they do not orig­i­nate, or­di­nar­ily re­side or work there,” he al­leged.

The lawyers rep­re­sent­ing both the pe­ti­tion­ers and the re­spon­dents are ex­pected to ap­pear in court to­mor­row for the court to give di­rec­tions lead­ing to the hear­ing of the case.

The case is be­fore a panel of three judges namely; Jus­tices ‘Mase­shophe Hla­joane, Molefi Makara and Sakoane Sakoane.

The LCD’S elec­tion re­sults com­plaint comes de­spite the party signed a doc­u­ment ac­cept­ing the elec­tion re­sults shortly af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tion re­sults.

The LCD is also a sig­na­tory to a let­ter writ­ten by six po­lit­i­cal par­ties to SADC af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tion re­sults ac­cept­ing the out­come of the polls.

How­ever, in the same let­ter, the par­ties raised con­cerns that in­clude al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the elec­tion reg­is­tra­tion process.

The six par­ties called on to SADC to con­duct a foren­sic au­dit on vot­ers’ roll as their al­leged some ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

The six par­ties that signed a let­ter are the Demo­cratic Congress (DC), LCD, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy (PFD), Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (NIP) Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP) and Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC).

The six par­ties formed the pre­vi­ous seven par­ties’ coali­tion gov­ern­ment along with Basotho Congress Party (BCP) which did not sign the let­ter of com­plaint. SADC has not yet re­sponded to the let­ter. The elec­tions pro­duced a new four party coali­tion gov­ern­ment com­pris­ing of the ABC, AD, Basotho Na­tional Party (BNP) and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (RCL).

LCD leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing

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