Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

IEC pushes for harmonised polls


’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is lobbying for the concurrent holding of parliamentary and local government elections to harmonise the logistical, expenditure and voter education processes.

This was revealed by IEC Commissioner Makase Nyaphisi while updating the electoral body’s Media Liaison Committee on the preparations for the local government elections scheduled for 30 September 2017.

The IEC will also hold parliamentary by-elections in three constituencies on the same day after three candidates died ahead of the 3 June 2017 National Assembly polls.

The three constituencies are Thupa-Kubu Hololo and Teya-teyaneng #24.

Dr Nyaphisi said the harmonisation of the two elections topped the IEC’s list of electoral reforms they were proposing.

Lesotho has undertaken to implement multi-sectoral reforms aimed at deepening democracy and fostering political stability.

“Negotiations have long been underway to hold the National Assembly elections and the local government elections simultaneously as that would be advantageous in terms of logistics, expenditure and voter education,” he said.

“We have included this issue in our reforms proposal and if the government were to serve its full term, we have agreed that the two elections would be held concurrently in 2022.”

Dr Nyaphisi said they were awaiting the results of a recently held census which would assist them in demarcating electoral of boundaries.

IEC Public Relations Officer, Tuoe Hantši, indicated that even though the demarcation was carried out by the Local Government ministry, they would do it together once the census report was released.

“The electoral law says there shall be a continuous registration of voters and we can’t turn a blind eye on the call for a fresh voters roll by the parliamentarians and politicians. However there is need for an amendment of the same law that the voters’ roll should be destroyed completely and not be continuous. Unless this is amended, all exercises shall remain futile even if budgeted for,” said Mr Hantši.

Dr Nyaphisi chipped in saying the current voters’ roll could not be destroyed because the data at IEC was not connected to the National Identification and Civil Registry (NICR).

“It is therefore a challenge to completely destroy the voters’ roll as people are dying every now and then, hence there are a lot of things that still need to be considered should there be a need for such an exercise,” he said.

“There is no 100 percent clean voters’ roll in the world and at least we are all aware of that. Our roll is 98 percent clean and therefore we are going to use it for the upcoming polls.”





Comments are closed.