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Results expected on Wednesday

Staff Reporter

MASERU — The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it expects to announce the final election result by Wednesday.
The counting of the ballots started last night after polling stations closed at 5pm.
The results from the polling stations will be taken to the Returning Officer who will compile them and then send them to the IEC’s Command Centre from which they will be announced.
Last night IEC chairperson, Limakatso Mokhothu, told the Sunday Express that if things go according to plan they will finish announcing the results by Wednesday.
“We think by Wednesday we will be done. We will start announcing the results on Sunday as they come in,” she said.
Mokhothu said the IEC had “less hassles” during the voting.
She attributed this to better planning and coordination by the IEC.
“Unlike in the previous elections when we had to rush to do things at the last minute, this time we were well organised,” Mokhothu added.
She said the IEC had managed to deliver voting materials to polling stations by Thursday night.
The latest some of the polling stations got their materials was Friday, she said.
The IEC chairperson said there were minor problems in Thetsane, Qoaling and Lithotheng where some voters went to wrong polling stations because they were not aware that the boundaries had changed.
“This happened because the boundaries crossed in those areas but we managed to deal with that issue because we had anticipated it.”
Mokhothu was confident that the
IEC had done a good job this time round.
What we have learnt, she said, is that better planning, coordination and management are the key to a well organised election.
IEC polling managers who spoke to the Sunday Express yesterday described the voter turnout as reasonable.
They said at some stations people had started streaming to polling stations as early as 3am to avoid long queues.
They also said young voters seemed to have come out in huge numbers to cast their votes.
The leaders of the three main parties had cast their ballots by noon.
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili who broke away from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) three months ago to form the Democratic Congress cast his ballot in his home town of Qacha’s Nek.
His main adversary, Mothetjoa Metsing, who is now the LCD leader, cast his vote in his rural constituency of Mahobong.
Tom Thabane, the leader of the All Basotho Convention who may be the kingmaker in this closely fought election, cast his vote in Abia.
Over the past three months some observers and analysts have postulated that Lesotho could be heading for a coalition government because no party is likely to get a clear majority.
To form a government a party should have 61 seats.
Mosisili who has been in power for the past 15 years has said he has no doubt that his DC party will get 61 seats required to form a government. But if his party falls slightly short of the majority he will have to negotiate with other parties if he wants to remain in government.
The problem however is that the LCD and ABC, the two other main contenders, don’t seem receptive to the idea of a coalition with the DC.
Last week Metsing ruled out going into a marriage of convenience with the DC. Thabane is yet to warm up to Mosisili since their fallout in 2006 when he left to form the ABC.

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