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All calm following Lesotho election

After days of results trickling in from polling stations in Lesotho's mountain regions it now appears that the incumbent Prime Minister

Last modified: 30 May 2012 20:21

After days of results trickling in from polling stations in Lesotho's mountain regions it now appears that the incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili could be out of a job.

Mosisili's Democratic Congress has won the most seats but not enough for an outright majority (the first time in Lesotho's history that's happened), it's forced him to look for a coalition partner or try and convince others to cross the floor.

But it now looks like those efforts have been trumped by the leader of the All Basotho Convention, Tom Thabane, who says his party's joined forces with five others to form an alliance with 64 seats, enough for a majority in the 120 seat parliament.

Saturday's vote was the most closely watched since 1998 when Mosisili came to power in polls that sparked violent protests and triggered the South African military to put boots on the ground to restore order.

There's no sign of similar unrest following this vote - a good result given the level of uncertainty surrounding the outcome.

It all started to unravel for Mosisili in February when he left his own Lesotho Congress for Democracy after a power struggle to form the Democratic Congress. He thought the majority of parliamentarians would follow him but they didn't.

That set the stage for the most competitive election in years as politicians struggled to impress voters in the highland kingdom of just two million people that they could provide them with economic stability, better education and healthcare.

If the opposition alliance sticks this will be a new age of politics in Lesotho, but the main parties offered very similar policies during campaigning that was also fraught with personal feuds.

So how much life improves for the people of Lesotho is going to depend on whether the former rivals in this new coalition can really work together.