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Posted on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:25

Lesotho: Proposed early election "challenging"

By Crystal Oderson in Cape Town

Lesotho's Prime Minister Tom Thabane. Photo©ReutersSouth Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is a 'determination amongst Lesotho leaders to move towards resolving the problems" in the troubled country.

Ramaphosa was appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to mediate among Lesotho's political protagonists following an attempted coup last month.

the challenge would be resources that have to be put together to carry out credible free and fair elections

"I'm encouraged by the tenure and the way of the discussions and all the parties are committed to implement decisions that were taken by SADC summit leaders," he said.

The comments followed the conclusion of Ramaphosa's a two-day visit to the Mountain Kingdom that has been in turmoil since the attempted coup, which saw the country's Prime Minister Tom Thabane flee to South Africa.

Thabane and several high profile leaders were escorted back to Lesotho under heavy South African police presence.

"The visit to Lesotho came within the context of the mandate given to the facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa, by the SADC Troika of Heads of State and government," Ramaphosa's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

The troika appointed Ramaphosa as facilitator "to assist the people of Lesotho to address their current political and security challenges".

"Discussions were quite good, frank and open,"said Ramaphosa.

Challenges

While in Lesotho, Ramaphosa also paid a courtesy call on King Letsie III, and met with national coalition partners led by Thabane, and the speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly.

"In this regard, the critical issues include among others the re-opening of Parliament, the stabilisation of the security situation as well as bringing forward a date for elections," Mamoepa said.

The SADC leaders want Lesotho to have an early election.

One of the country's election commissioners, Mme Mamosebi also met with Ramaphosa and said "the challenge would be resources that have to be put together to carry out credible free and fair elections".

Analysts point out that there is an urgent need to address the political and security challenges in preparation for the brought forward election, re-opening parliament and stabilising the country.



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