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Lesotho: Elections

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the outcome of the elections in Lesotho in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the political situation in Lesotho. (149419)

The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy party won by a sizeable majority in an election process that we and independent observers deemed largely free and fair. But legal challenges by opposition parties are still ongoing and we do have concerns about sporadic incidents of violence which followed, directed at both Government and Opposition figures. Both Government and Opposition parties alike, now need to engage in dialogue to bring about a peaceful solution.

Our non-resident high commissioner, who resides in Pretoria, visited most recently on 3 July when he encouraged all sides to enter fully into the Southern African Development Community-backed mediation process headed by former President Masire of Botswana. We continue to monitor the situation closely, through our high commission in Pretoria and in London with the Lesotho high commissioner, who officials met most recently on 27 June.