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Lesotho votes in keenly contested general elections

Lesotho votes in keenly contested general elections

Lesotho

Voters in Lesotho trooped to the polls on Saturday morning to elect a new government in its third general election since 2012.

Polls opened at 05:00 GMT for the 1.2 million registered voters who formed queues at polling stations despite the winter.

The election is keenly contested by two major candidates – Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

72-year-old PM Mosisili is running to serve for the third time. He was the first prime minister from 1998 to 2012, and returned to power in 2015 after an interim election.

77-year-old Thabane on the other hand ruled from 2012 to 2015 and fled to South Africa after a failed coup in 2014.

Lesotho has a mixed parliamentary system and ruled by a constitutional monarchy led by King Letsie III.

The Parliament is composed of 120 seats – 80 elected by majority vote and 40 divided proportionally.

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