Lesotho villagers in rural Thaba Bosiu (Western Lesotho) are hoping the country will enter a news age following the general election on Friday (Oct 7).
The southern African kingdom has been governed for the past decade by coalitions, with no prime minister serving a full five-year term.
For the 1.5 million people registered to vote, insecurity and better life prospects were key electoral factors.
“Many people are being killed here in Lesotho, children are being harassed, raped and our elderly women are being killed in large numbers,” Makamohelo Hlehlisi lamented.
“I want to see my party, if it becomes the next president, look at these things, and also create jobs for the youth, because the youth are not working. We are waiting for too many things, “added the woman.
The economy of the nation nicknamed the Kingdom in Heaven is based on subsistence farming and animal husbandry, as well as small-scale industries.
Estimates of poverty levels stood at 36% in 2021 (based on $2.15 per person per day), according to the World Bank.
To achieve the change they want to see, voters can choose candidates from more than 50 parties.
“We just want changes, there should be peace in our nation, there should be growth and we should all live happily together, those are the things we need,” said villager Makamohelo Hlehlisi.
Polls closed at 1500 GMT and counting began shortly after on Friday. Results are likely to be announced next week.
The outgoing government is headed by the All Basotho Convention.
Nkaku Kabi’s (ABC) main rivals included Mathibeli Mokhothu, who heads the Democratic Congress, Lesotho’s second largest party, and Sam Matekane, a millionaire believed to be the richest man in the country who could be a horse. dark, according to analysts.
No one is expected to win outright. Observers saw little chance of ending the country’s long political stalemate.
The 120-seat parliament is elected by a mixed electoral system: 80 legislators are voted for by the electorate, while another 40 seats are distributed proportionally.
The outgoing parliament failed to pass a law aimed at strengthening political stability by barring lawmakers from changing parties within the first three years of their term.