IEC wants  elections held concurrently

IEC wants elections held concurrently

MASERU – THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) wants national and local government elections to be held concurrently as a way to save money on logistics and personnel. Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Development for Peace Education (DPE) yesterday, IEC Commissioner ’Mamosebi Pholo said “there is no valid reason why both local government elections and national elections are held at different times”.
“There is no law that prohibits synchronisation of the two elections therefore as Basotho we really have to consider change for the better,” she said, adding that “some countries like Kenya take their elections issues very seriously.”

“To prepare for elections one needs expertise, passion and dedication,” Pholo said.
She said harmonized elections will cut the cost of hiring and training personnel.
“There is also one voters’ list for both elections and printing it once is very cost-effective,” she said.
She said all other elections materials are the same except for the ballot paper.

“We will go to elections with two ballot papers, the one for parliament and the other for local government, some rich countries are practicing it and we are left behind even though we do not have money.”
Pholo also said the synchronisation will make it easy for observers to do their job.

“Monitoring and protecting the polling stations can be done easily,” Pholo added.
She said the combination will make it easy for politicians to canvas and improve voters’ turnout.

Pholo said even if the combination is seen as the best option there are still some challenges including a lot of work to IEC and maybe delay of results as they will be working on two elections. “In 2022 we hope our elections will take this shape.”

The IEC’s proposal comes after Lesotho blew a staggering M1 billion on four elections within five years.
Three of the elections were national while one was for the Local Government.

Nkheli Liphoto

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