At stake in this election:
120 Seats in the National Assembly
Description of government structure:
· Chief of State: King Letsie III *
· Head of Government: Prime Minister Tom Thabane
· Assembly: Lesotho has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate with 33 seats and the National Assembly with 120 seats.
* The monarch is hereditary. Under traditional law, the college of chiefs has the power to depose and/or invest a monarch.
Description of electoral system:
· The King is hereditary head of state.
· The Prime Minister is selected by parliament.
· In the Senate, 22 members are hereditary to serve 5-year terms and 11 members are nominated by the monarch to serve 5-year terms. In the National Assembly, 80 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms and 40 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms.**
** Lesotho uses a unique method of Mixed-Member Proportional Representation (MMP). Voters receive two ballots on Election Day; the first is used to vote for a candidate in the nominal tier, while the second is for the party list tier. The list tier ballot is used to determine the number of seats each party would receive if the system was fully proportional. Seats are allocated using a variant of the Hare Quota. The total number of votes cast on the party ballot is divided by the total number of seats at stake in the National Assembly (normally 120) in a given election. The number of votes each party received on the party ballot is divided by this quota to determine how many seats it deserves to receive. By calculating the quota with the total number of open seats (as opposed to just seats in the PR tier) it can be determined how many seats a party should have won if the system was perfectly proportional. This number is than compared to the seats a party won in the nominal tier to determine how many seats it should be awarded in the list tier. (For example, if a party is determined to deserve 20 seats and it won 10 in the nominal tier, it will be given an additional 10 seats). If this allocation fails to proportionally allocate seats (parties still being more or less seats than they deserve based on the PR tier results) the quota is recalculated, but this time excluding the seats for those parties which had won more than their fair share in the nominal tier. The 40 PR seats are than awarded using this new quota.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Democratic Congress Party
- Leader: Pakalitha Mosisili
- Number of Seats won in last election: 48
- Party: Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)
- Leader: Mothetjoa Metsing
- Number of Seats won in last election: 26
- Party: All Basotho Convention
- Leader: Tom Thabane
- Number of Seats won in last election: 30
- Party: Basotho National Party
- Leader: Thesele Maseribane
- Number of Seats won in last election: 5
- Party: National Independent Party
- Leader: Kimetso Mathaba
- Number of Seats won in last election: 2
- Party: Lesotho People’s Congress
- Leader: Kelebone Maope
- Number of Seats won in last election: 1
- Party: Popular Front for Democracy
- Number of Seats won in last election: 3
The last election for the National Assembly was held on 26 May 2012. There were 1,127,980 registered voters for the election. The Democratic Congress Party won 48 seats (of 120), while the All Basotho Convention won 30 seats, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy won 26 seats, the Basotho National Party won 5 seats, the Popular Front for Democracy won 3 seats, the National Independent Party won 2 seats, and the Lesotho People’s Congress won 1 seat.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Female Population: 1,052,792[iii]
- Is Lesotho a signatory to CEDAW: Yes
- Has Lesotho ratified CEDAW: Yes (22 August 1995)
- Gender Quota: Yes[iv]
- Female Candidates in this election: Yes
- Number of Female Legislators: 30 (25%) of 120 seats in the National Assembly
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 162[v]
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Low
- Is Lesotho a signatory to CRPD: Yes
- Has Lesotho ratified CRPD: Yes (2 December 2008)
[iii] Based on sex ratio (0.97 males/female) given at http://www.indexmundi.com/lesotho/demographics_profile.html