LEADER of the newly formed coalition between the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Sam Matekane has promised that the new administration shall focus on economic emancipation, combating crime and completion of the reforms process in its first 100 days of office.
Oct. 11, 2022
3 min read
New coalition govt promises economic freedom
RFP leader, Sam Matekane
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The union comes just days after his newly formed party, the RFP was declared as the winner of the 2022 general elections after collecting a total of 56 constituencies, beating close competitors, the Democratic Congress (DC) who won 18 constituencies.
The DC was compensated with 11 proportional representative seats after the final counting of votes.
Monyane Moleleki’s AD brings to the table five seats while the MEC of Selibe Mochoboroane comes with four. This, after each of the two parties, won a constituency in the Friday general elections.
This means the three partners shall lead the country with a total of 65 seats in parliament for the next five years while the rest of the other parties will form the opposition.
“This marriage that is being announced today comes after serious considerations and also because the three parties agree on very important issues that are within our manifestos. We have to promote discipline in terms of expenditure, get our civil service in order as well as fight corruption among other things. We will fight for the unity of Lesotho and Basotho for a prosperous Lesotho,” Matekane said on Tuesday, at the signature of the partnership in Maseru.
Lesotho held its eighth general elections on Friday since its transition to the multi-party political system in 1993, following eight years of a military regime.
Until 2001, Lesotho had used the British-type First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system, which is a single-member constituency model.
Following the reforms that were spearheaded by the Interim Political Authority (IPA), the electoral system was changed to the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral model involving a mixture of the FPTP and Proportional Representation (PR) systems.
As part of this reform, the size of the National Assembly was increased from 80 to 120. Of this, 80 constituencies are occupied on the basis of the FPTP and 40 on the basis of the compensatory PR system.
In the first 100 days of office, Matekane said the new coalition government shall double efforts to fulfill the promise they made to the nation ahead of the national elections.
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“In the first 100 days, we promise to complete the National Reforms Process, reduce government ministries, fight corruption as well as stabilise the economy,” he added.
He said the new government will further focus on creating employment opportunities, improving agriculture, road infrastructure, water and electricity supplies as well as other public infrastructure improvements. The new government will also level the playing field for easier trade both within the country’s borders and internationally. Health and education systems will also be strengthened.
The overall socio-economic situation ahead of the elections included low human development, high crime, poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
About 49.7 percent of Lesotho’s population lives below the poverty datum line. The unemployment rate stands at 22.5 percent and youth unemployment is at 33.68 percent.
The country’s socio-economic predicament is further compounded by climate change as well as health pandemics such as HIV and AIDS along with COVID-19.