Ramaphosa concludes Lesotho visit

2015-03-01 21:56
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at Nedlac's labour relations indaba in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at Nedlac's labour relations indaba in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded his visit to Lesotho where he observed the country's general elections as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator, his office said on Sunday.

"The facilitator [Ramaphosa] was in Lesotho where he observed the electoral process which took place on Saturday 28 February around the country," spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said in a statement.

"While in Maseru, Deputy President Ramaphosa was also appraised of the voting processes by leaders of various observer missions."

These included SADC, the African Union, the Commonwealth, and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as well as members of the SADC facilitation mission based in Lesotho.

"During his visit the facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa had the privilege and honour to pay a visit to four voting stations around Maseru," Mamoepa said.

These were the Tikoe ACL Primary School, the Ha-Ratjomose Moreneng, Boitelo Primary School and the Maseru Methodist Primary School to witness democracy in action.

Ramaphosa also held discussions with senior officers of the Lesotho Defence Force and Lesotho Mounted Police Services who played a major role in securing and distributing voting material to various voting districts before and during the elections.

Ramaphosa was expected to return to Lesotho on Wednesday.

On Sunday, the dpa news agency reported that Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane had taken an early lead in parliamentary elections, winning 16 out of 19 constituencies where vote counts were complete.

The vote count continued in the remaining 61 constituencies one day after early elections aimed at restoring stability following an alleged coup attempt in the southern African mountain kingdom.

Twenty-four parties vied for support among the 1.2 million registered voters in the country, which is landlocked by South Africa.

They included Thabane's All Basotho Convention (ABC), Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the smaller Basotho National Party (BNP), which form the coalition government.

Sunday's vote count showed the biggest opposition party, former prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili's Democratic Congress (DC), coming in second after the ABC.

Read more on:    lesotho  |  lesotho elections 2015  |  southern africa

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