Lesotho
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U.S. appeals for restraint ahead of elections

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – As the polling day nears, the United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Lesotho Maria Brewer has called on the political leaders to exercise restraint during this critical time as the campaigning efforts intensify.

This is according to the statement issued by the Embassy on September 9.

“To the country’s leaders, and those who aspire to lead, the United States calls on you to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and from supporting acts of intimidation. Violence has no place in a democratic election.

“To the media, civil, society organizations, and other stakeholders ensuring the people are well-informed and able to advocate for their interests, your work is as important as ever- please keep it up,” she said.

The elections are to be held in just less than a month’s time, on October 7.

Despite 65 political parties registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), not all are going to contest for this highly anticipated elections. There are six parties that will go to elections as coalitions.

Friday saw the announcement of the nominated candidates at the constituencies where they will be contesting at.

The journey which started on July 19, when the election period was announced through the proclamation will end on October 14 when the final elections results will be announced by the Commission.

Brewer appealed to the eligible voters to go out, come polling day, to cast their votes, adding that “democracy can only work if the people participate”.

The Ambassador further promised that “the United States stands with Lesotho in its efforts to hold elections that are free, fair, and transparent, and free of violence”.