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Lesotho electoral body says made a mistake over parliament seats

Lesotho electoral body says made a mistake over parliament seats
Lesotho electoral body says made a mistake over parliament seats Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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MASERU - Voting authorities in Lesotho have said they incorrectly allocated parliamentary seats after an Oct. 7 election, asking the country's top court to reverse the allocations and halt the legislature's first sitting, court papers showed on Saturday.

The populist Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), founded by diamond magnate, Sam Matekane, won the most seats in this month's vote, but fell short of an overall majority in the southern African kingdom's 120-member parliament.

Last week, the party struck a deal to form a coalition government with two other opposition parties as the nation strives to emerge from years of political instability under the former ruling All Basotho Convention, which had been in power since 2017.

In Lesotho's national assembly, 80 seats are won through "first-past-the-post" voting, with the rest allocated using proportional representation, under which parties get seats based on their total national vote.

On Saturday, the court papers showed, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) asked the Constitutional Court for an order "reviewing, correcting and setting aside" the allocation of compensatory seats, or those allocated using proportional representation.

It said the Democratic Congress party had erroneously been awarded 11 compensatory seats instead of eight, while the Alliance of Democrats was wrongly allocated three compensatory seats instead of two.

It was not immediately clear whether the issue would affect the coalition government's majority.

The IEC also wants the court to postpone a special meeting of parliament's National Assembly scheduled to take place on Tuesday until the court delivers its judgment on the seat allocations, the court papers showed.

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