Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

ABC, ADC lock horns over symbols

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — The main opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) party wants the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to bar the newly formed All Democratic Corporation (ADC) party from using a symbol it says is identical to its own.

The ABC, Lesotho’s biggest opposition party by way of parliamentary seats, uses the sun with yellow rays as its symbol while the ADC has chosen the sunflower with yellow petals.

“The IEC should not accept the new party’s sunflower symbol if it is really determined to conduct clean elections,” Libe Moremoholo, the ABC youth leader, said yesterday.

He said the decision by the ADC to use a symbol similar to the main opposition party was meant to deliberately mislead the electorate and confuse ABC supporters.

“The use of a sunflower is meant to confuse our supporters into believing that it is the sun,’’ Moremoholo said.

He said IEC should bar the ADC from using its symbol if it is to conduct clean elections.

The ABC youth leader said the issue of party symbols needed to be handled properly to ensure electoral transparency.

Moremoholo said in the 2002 elections scores of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) supporters voted for the National Independent Party (NIP) after mistaking the party’s symbol of a dove for the ruling party’s symbol, the eagle.

“We don’t want to see that happening again,” Moremoholo said.

“The IEC should remove the sunflower (symbol) if they are to avoid setting a bad precedent.”

Last week the ABC’s women’s league also complained to the IEC chairperson, Limakatso Mokhothu, about the ADC’s sunflower symbol.

The league said the symbol was meant to confuse their supporters.

A spokesman for the IEC, Tuoe Hantši, has however rejected the charge insisting the two party symbols did not look alike.

“I have scanned both symbols and pasted them on the sample ballot paper and they do not show any similarity at all,” Hantši said.

“As you can see, the ABC’s symbol is clear while the ADC’s sunflower has too many black shades and these designs cannot confuse anybody.”

He added: “Surely nobody will be confused.”

Similar questions were also raised when the party was officially launched on May 19.

But ADC leader Liphapang Setimela brushed aside the queries insisting the two symbols were not similar.

“The sunflower is not similar to the sun and you can see that their designs are not identical at all,” Setimela said.

“I am convinced that neither followers of the ADC nor those of the ABC will be confused by this. The sunflower does not look like the sun.”

Setimela said the ADC was going to field candidates in all constituencies in local government elections due in September and general elections next year.

The ADC was formed in 2009 but was officially unveiled two weeks ago.

The ADC also says it wants to put the army and the police under the direct command of the King to restore peace in Lesotho’s politics.

The party says it is open to forming alliances with any party that will not seek to victimise current Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili when he steps down because of “how well he has led the country”.

Comments are closed.