CHIEF Observer of the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) to Lesotho, Ignazio Corrao has lauded the country for holding a free and fair election that he says was conducted in a transparent manner.
Oct. 10, 2022
2 min read
EU, SADC applaud Lesotho for free elections
Chief Observer of EU EOM to Lesotho, Ignazio Corrao
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He made these remarks on Sunday when presenting the mission's preliminary statement at a press conference held in Maseru.
Mr Corrao said although preparations were marred by challenges such as limited financial resources for the Independent Electoral Commission and uncertainty regarding the applicable legal framework, the IEC carried out most of its activities according to the election calendar.
He said among others, IEC staff acted professionally by displaying strong dedication to their duties.
The EU EOM, he said deployed 87 international observers to all the 10 districts, covering all 80 constituencies, adding that they visited 371 out of 3,149 stations polling stations.
“We observed a peaceful campaign period nevertheless, unlimited campaign disadvantaging smaller parties and independent candidates to go all out,” he said.
Mr Corrao further noted, “I would like to express my respect for the staff of election administration who did all they could to fulfill their responsibilities, despite budgetary constraints, as well as the people of Lesotho, in particular the party agents for their commitment on election day, I trust that the officially declared election results will be accepted and that no grievances will be resolved in the courts of law,” he said.
The Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Namibia, Frans Kapofi who headed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) said they deployed 40 observers across the country and visited 158 polling stations on election day to observe the opening, voting, closing and counting procedures in their areas of deployment with 54% in urban and 46% in rural areas.
He said 87% of the polling stations opened on time with IEC staff following the required opening procedures and guidelines.
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Mr Kapofi also commended the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) for their commitment and professionalism depicted throughout the process.
The Commonwealth representative and former president of Seychelles, Danny Faure also commended Lesotho, saying it had indeed outdone itself in conducting free and fair elections.
He said as the Commonwealth, they recommended that the IEC should review the procedures for compilation of the voter register to better ensure its reliability, in particular as regards duplicates, removal of deceased persons, and inclusion of youth.
They also recommended IEC's policies to facilitate assisted voters to persons with disability, seniors, and other groups in prioritising or helping them in order to make their votes also count. - LeNA