BCP yet to issue post-election statement

One of the seven coalition political parties which formed the previous coalition government Basotho Congress Party (BCP) says its working committees are yet to meet in order to discuss the aftermath of the snap general elections before issuing the statement.
Speaking in an interview, BCP Publicist Mr. Mohau Maphephe said it was premature to take a stand now prior to receiving reports from the party’s working committee could meet and deliberate on what the party’s stand is, post the June 03 snap general election.
He promised that BCP will convene a press conference in due time in order to make its stand public, distancing his party from the statement that was issued by other coalition political party leaders issued last week.
Speaking on his personal capacity and not BCP, Mr. Maphephe pointed out that when the seven coalition political parties decided to form a government after the 2015 snap general elections, they had sat down and agreed after consulting their parties national executive committees.
However, he said to the BCP’s surprise after the dissolution of the 9th parliament some of the partners unilaterally decided to contest the June 03 snap general elections together, leaving other partners in the cold.
The outgoing coalition government has written to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika informing the regional bloc about its position about the June 03 general elections.
In its letter six of the seven political parties which had formed the coalition government say that as the leaders they accept the results of the elections.
However, they expressed reservations and concerns which they claim had occurred in the elections.
In a statement signed by the six political party leaders they say they wish to register formally the acceptance of the general elections results but would like SADC to take appropriate action sooner rather than later.
“It is our considered view that the elections were free, peaceful and without any major problems.
“However, we are concerned about reports and clear evidence showing very serious anomalies. We must also indicate that many of these anomalies were reported to the authorities of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), all in vain,” the letter said.
They claim that IEC continued to secretly register voters many days after the deadline that it had set for voters’ registration, adding that in fact, even on election day some voters were inserted by hand into the voters’ roll and then allowed to vote.
Furthermore, they point out that during the election period one political party distributed a large variety of gift packages to voters at its rallies in broad daylight. This, they say is against both the Electoral Code of Conduct and the Electoral Act.
The leaders highlight in the letter that bus loads were ferried across the border from the Republic of South Africa and that many of them were South Africans that had been registered illegally so that they could vote for a particular party in Lesotho.
“Many voters were transferred illegally from their constituencies and moved to certain targeted constituencies in order to enable a certain party win in those specific constituencies,” they charged.
In some constituencies, the leaders claim that the indelible ink was not available, and a much lower quality ink was used, that this inevitably led to widespread multiple voting, more so as the IEC had discarded use of utra-violet light to check against multiple voting.
The leaders also further claim they do not intend to present an exhaustive list of these anomalies, saying suffice to say, in their view there is sufficient evidence to conclude that these elections were rigged.
“This is why we request SADC to lead a forensic audit which will establish the extend of these irregularities and thereby make a determination as to whether the results of this election are a true reflection of the will of the people of Lesotho,’ they said.
The leaders say they also call upon the IEC to cooperate fully with this forensic audit exercise.
They also submit that this is now an opportune time to consider putting in place a Government of National Unity, seeing that no party would feel cheated since there is no outright winner, and most importantly, it would be the ideal type of government to drive the seminal reforms agenda.
Meanwhile, IEC Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Tuoe Hantsi when approached for comment cited that the commission has not yet been given the comments by the disgruntled political leaders therefore IEC reserve its comment on the matter.
The copy of the letter has been send to among others Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL), African Union (AU), Commonwealth and the United Nations.

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