Lesotho Congress for Democracy

The Lesotho Congress for Democracy is a political party in Lesotho.

In 1997, Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle left the Basutoland Congress Party to form with his faction the new Lesotho Congress for Democracy. The new party won the 1998 elections with 60.7% of the popular vote and 79 out of 80 seats. Pakalitha Mosisili became the new party leader and prime minister. At the elections for the National Assembly, 25 May 2002, the party won 54.9% of popular votes and 77 out of 120 seats. In the 17 February 2007 parliamentary election, the party won 62 out of 120 seats.[1]

Major splits from the party occurred in October 2001, when leading LCD members Kelebone Maope and Shakhane Mokhehle left the party to form the Lesotho People's Congress and in October 2006, when Tom Thabane left the party to form the All Basotho Convention. Prior to the Lesotho general election, 2012 the party split again with incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili forming the Democratic Congress and General Secretary Mothetjoa Metsing taking over the party leadership.[2]

Lesotho Congress for Democracy
LeaderMothetjoa Metsing
FounderNtsu Mokhehle
Split fromBasutoland Congress Party
HeadquartersBonhomme House, Maseru
Social democracy
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationSocialist International (observer)
ColorsBlack, Red, Green
SloganTruth, Justice, Peace
'Nete, Toka, Khotso
National Assembly
11 / 120
Party flag
LCD Lesotho flag


  1. ^ "Lesotho: 2007 National Assembly election results", Electoral Institute for Sustainable democracy in Africa (African Democracy Encyclopaedia Project), February, 2007.
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

External links

'Makabelo Mosothoane

'Makabelo Priscilla Mosothoane (born 1952) is a Lesotho politician who served as the country's Minister for Education and Training from 2012 to 2015, in the government of Tom Thabane. She worked as a nurse and schoolteacher prior to entering politics, and was also president of the local branch of the Red Cross Society.

'Mamphono Khaketla

'Mamphono Khaketla (born 5 March 1960) is a Lesotho senator who has served as finance minister from March 2015 to June 2017.

1998 Lesotho general election

General elections were held in Lesotho on 24 May 1998, except in the Moyeni constituency, where voting was postponed until 1 August due to the death of one of the candidates. The result was a comprehensive victory for the new Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which claimed 79 of the 80 seats. The party was formed by a breakaway from the Basutoland Congress Party, which had won the 1993 elections.

Of the 1,017,753 registered voters, there were 593,955 valid votes.

2002 Lesotho general election

General elections were held in Lesotho on 25 May 2002. The result was a victory for the Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which took over 50% of the vote and 77 of the 120 seats in the National Assembly. It was the first election held in Lesotho under the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) system, with 80 seats elected in first-past-the-post constituencies, and 40 using a proportional representation-based compensatory system. 554,386 of the 831,515 registered voters cast valid votes.

2007 Lesotho general election

General elections were held in Lesotho on 17 February 2007. They had originally been scheduled to be held in April or May 2007. In October 2006, Tom Thabane left the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and formed a new party, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), and 17 other members of parliament joined him. This left the LCD with a narrow majority of 61 out of 120 seats. On the advice of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, King Letsie III dissolved parliament on November 24, 2006, and the election was scheduled for February 17, 2007.

The bringing forward of the date caused dissatisfaction amongst the opposition, which expressed concern that it would not allow sufficient time for campaigning and electoral preparations. It was believed that the election was called early due to the possibility that there would be further defections from the LCD, depriving it of its majority.80 constituency seats were up for election together with 40 seats allocated by proportional representation. The poll was monitored by the SADC and the American National Democratic Institute.The electoral commission announced late on 20 February that the LCD had won 61 out of the 80 constituency seats, while the ABC won 17. The Alliance of Congress Parties won one constituency seat, and the vote in Makhaleng was delayed because a candidate there had died. The National Independent Party, which is allied with the LCD, won 21 seats through proportional representation, and the Lesotho Workers' Party, which is allied with the ABC, won 10 seats through proportional representation. ABC leader Tom Thabane called the vote free, but not fair.An extended dispute has followed the election regarding the allocation of the seats based on proportional representation. Despite acknowledging that the LCD won the election, the ABC has argued that the proportional seats were not allocated correctly. The LCD's reluctance to engage in talks prompted Thabane on October 18, 2007 to threaten street protests to pressure the government into holding a new election "if they continue to fail to co-operate".

All Basotho Convention

The All Basotho Convention (ABC) is a political party in Lesotho. The party was formed in October 2006 and is headed by Tom Thabane, a former minister in the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) led government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.A total of 18 members of parliament crossed the floor to join the ABC in opposition on October 13, 2006; these included Thabane and 16 other former LCD members, along with one independent, Lehlohonolo Tšehlana, who had previously been expelled from the LCD.The 18 members of parliament joining the ABC, along with their constituencies, were:

M. Maliehe (Butha-Buthe)

Sello Peter Maphalla (Hlotse)

Mokholane Pita (Maputsoe)

Lijane Edwin Selikane (Mosalemane)

Matooane Mokhosi (Bela-Bela)

Clement S. Machakela (Mahlatsa)

Mabuo Kojoana (Thupa-Kubu)

Seeiso Simon Sehloho (Mabote)

Mokherane Chaltin Tsatsanyane (Stadium Area)

’Mapheello B. Tšuluba (Qoaling)

Molobeli Bernard Soulo (Lithoteng)

Tom Thabane (Abia)

Molebatsi Khaile (Qeme)

Freddy Rantelali Shea (’Maletsunyane)

Retšelisitsoe Ranooe (Kolo)

Seabata Joseph Monare (Qhalasi)

’Nyane Mphafi (Thaba-Tseka)

Lehlohonolo Tšehlana (Mokhotlong)The ABC thus became the third largest party in the country's National Assembly. The ruling party was left with 61 of the 120 parliamentary seats, and ABC leaders expressed the expectation that more LCD members would defect, which would have given the opposition a majority. In late November, parliament was dissolved and an early election was called for February 2007.ABC has attracted local musicians (among others, jazz artists Ts'epo Tshola and Bhudaza Mapefane, and famo artists, namely Selomo Chakela and Mants'a) who had given up hope on Lesotho by making their living in the neighbouring country of South Africa. The new All Basotho Convention is believed by young people to have changed the political situation of this country whereby elections and politics in general were viewed as "senior citizens' business."ABC contested the 17 February 2007 Lesotho general elections. It was anticipated that it would win the majority of the urban constituencies. The party won 17 constituency seats, falling far short of the 61 seats won by the LCD.In the June 2017 parliamentary election, the ABC won the most seats (48 out of 120), and with its allies it was able to command a majority. Party leader Tom Thabane was sworn in as Prime Minister on 16 June 2017.

Democratic Congress

The Democratic Congress is a political party in Lesotho that split from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy. It is led by Mathibeli Mokhothu.

Kelebone Maope

Kelebone Albert Maope (born 1945) is a politician from Lesotho. He served in the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) governments during the 1990s before splitting from the LCD in 2001 to form his own party, the Lesotho People's Congress (LPC).

Lesao Lehohla

Archibald Lesao Lehohla (born 28 July 1946) is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs and Public Safety of Lesotho.

Lesotho People's Congress

The Lesotho People's Congress is a political party in Lesotho. It was formed as a split from the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) by that party's Lesiba faction after Deputy Prime Minister Kelebone Maope resigned from the government in September 2001, and it was registered on October 8, 2001. Maope became the leader of the LPC; another leading member of the LCD, Shakhane Mokhehle, also became a leading member of the LPC. It gained 27 seats in the National Assembly through defections from the LCD. The new party closely identified itself with former prime minister Ntsu Mokhehle (brother of Shakhane Mokhehle), the founder of the LCD, and used an image of his head as its party symbol. The LCD sought to prevent the LPC from using his head as its symbol, but on December 6 the High Court ruled in favor of the LPC. In the parliamentary election for the National Assembly held on 25 May 2002, the party won 5.8% of popular votes and 5 out of 120 seats. Maope was the only LPC candidate to win a constituency, but the party won four other seats through proportional representation. Maope and Shakhane Mokhehle did not include themselves on the party's list of candidates for proportional representation, expecting to win constituencies, but Mokhehle lost his constituency by nine votes, and therefore did not get a seat in the National Assembly.

List of Prime Ministers of Lesotho

This is a list of Prime Ministers of Lesotho since the formation of the post of Prime Minister of Lesotho in 1965, to the present day.

A total of five people have served as Prime Minister of Lesotho (not counting one Acting Prime Ministers and two Chairmen of the Military Council). Additionally, three persons, Ntsu Mokhehle, Pakalitha Mosisili and Tom Thabane, have served on two non-consecutive occasions.

The current Prime Minister of Lesotho is Tom Thabane, since 16 June 2017.

Mothetjoa Metsing

Mothetjoa Metsing is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho. He is a member of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and serves in the government of Prime Minister Tom Thabane. In 2014, he was involved in controversy over an alleged coup attempt against the prime minister that was eventually resolved over calls for an early election.

National Independent Party

The National Independent Party is a political party in Lesotho.

The NIP was founded by Anthony Manyeli as a split from the Basotho National Party. It performed poorly in the 1993 and 1998 parliamentary elections, but in the election for the National Assembly held on 25 May 2002, the party won 5.5% of popular votes and five out of 120 seats. The party had previously never won any seats, and its success in winning five seats through proportional representation in the 2002 election was attributed to voter confusion about party symbols: its symbol being that of the dove and the symbol of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) being that of the eagle. NIP party leader Manyeli, expressing surprise at the results, said that this explanation was the only way he could account for them.In the 17 February 2007 parliamentary election, the party won 21 seats through proportional representation. It is allied with the LCD. Manyeli contested this alliance and won a court ruling against the alliance, but it was then overturned on appeal. He was excluded from the party's list of candidates and therefore did not get a seat in parliament. Opposition parties trying to have the alliance ruled invalid have said that the appeal ruling was in violation of the constitution; they sought for the NIP members of parliament to be replaced by Manyeli and his supporters.

Ntlhoi Motsamai

Ntlhoi Motsamai (born 1963) is a Lesotho politician who has been the Speaker of the National Assembly twice; first, from 1999 to 2012, then from March 2015 to June 2017. Motsamai worked as a teacher before entering politics.

Ntsu Mokhehle

Clement Ntsu Sejabanana Mokhehle (26 December 1918 – 6 January 1999) was a Lesotho politician. He served as the 3rd Prime Minister of the country from 2 April 1993 to 17 August 1994 and from 14 September 1994 to 29 May 1998.

Mokhehle was born at the small village of Mokhehle, which located few miles from Teyateyaneng on 26 December 1918. His father, Cicerone Mokhehle, was the headman of the village and one of the early Basotho Inspector of Schools. He was admitted to Fort Hare University, Transkei in 1940 where he studied science. He published articles in the Basotho newspaper Mochochonono and later involved in protesting activities which led to his expulsion from the university in 1942. Mokhehle joined the Lekhotla la Bafo during his time in Lesotho. He returned to Fort Hare University in 1944 and graduated with a MSC degree in Zoology after discovered several new species of parasites.

He joined the African National Congress as a student in Fort Hare university and was instrumental in formation of ANC Youth League and became a chartered member. He return to Lesotho continue with politics and founded the Basutoland Congress Party (renamed Basotho Congress Party after independence in 1966) in 1952 and led the party (served as its first party president) until 1997 when he resigned and formed a new political party, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). He fought colonial rule in Lesotho and demanded greater self-rule. He also founded the influential Mohlabani (The Warrior) and Makatolle political newspapers. His outspoken political views caused him to be dismissed from his teaching position at Basutoland High School in 1954. His party Basutoland Congress Party won many seats during the first elections held in Lesotho in 1960. In the 1965 elections, Basutoland Congress Party came second to Basotho National Party of Leabua Jonathan. Following the 1965 elections, he formed an unsuccessful alliance with King Moshoeshoe II to block Lesotho's independence unless another general election was held and paramount chiefs were given greater authority. The alliance ended when Moshoeshoe II gethering was suppressed by the government at Thaba Bosiu in December 1966. In 1970 Basotho Congress Party won the elections and the Prime minister Leabua Jonathan refused to relinquish power, suspended the constitution and declared state of emergency. He seized power by force and many were imprisoned without trial for over a year. It was clear Leabua was an anti-democrat and he ruled through the barrel of the gun. In 1974, Basotho Congress Party tried unsuccessfully size power by attacking police stations and following that many were arrested, killed and reign of terror by Chief Leabua continued. Ntsu Mokhehle fled Lesotho and went into exile and resided in Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. During his exile, he presided over the establishment of Lesotho Liberation Army and worked covertly with South African security forces in destabilizing Lesotho.Mokhehle was awarded honorary doctorates by Fort Hare University in 1996 and National University of Lesotho in 1990.

The dictator Leabua Jonathan was overthrown by the Military, which facilitated the return of him along with others in February 1989. Basotho Congress Party of Ntsu Mokhehle won the 1993 election by landslide which deemed fair by international observers and he ruled until 1998. He led Basotho Congress Party until 1997 when he resigned and formed a new political party, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). He did not attend an LCD conference in late January 1998 due to poor health and did not seek to be re-elected as party leader, but the party re-elected him anyway. After Mokhehle insisted he could not lead the party any longer, a new conference was held and Deputy Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was elected as party leader on 21 February. The LCD won the parliamentary election that followed, and Mosisili replaced Mokhehle as Prime Minister.

Mokhehle died in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 6 January 1999.

Pakalitha Mosisili

Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili (born 14 March 1945) is a former Mosotho politician who retired in January 2019. He was Prime Minister of Lesotho from May 1998 to June 2012 and again from March 2015 to June 2017. He led the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), to a near-total victory in the 1998 election, and under his leadership the party also won majorities in the 2002 and 2007 elections. While serving as Prime Minister, Mosisili was also Minister of Defense.

Following the snap election held on 28 February 2015, he managed to form and lead a coalition government. He was sworn in on 17 March 2015.

Pontso Sekatle

Pontso S. M. Sekatle (born 26 May 1957) is a politician and academic in Lesotho. Sekatle lectured at the National University of Lesotho from 1984 to 2001. In June 2001, she was appointed to the Senate of Lesotho, and on July 6, 2001 she became Minister of Health and Social Welfare. She was a member of the Qacha's Nek constituency for third time with the win in the elections in 2012 and was appointed the Minister of Local government and Chieftianship Affairs.

Dr. Sekatle in her capacity as the Minister of Local government, executed the local elections in 2005, the first of its kind in Lesotho and originally envisioned during 1968.

Selibe Mochoboroane

Selibe Mochoboroane (e mot'so moratuoa) is a politician in Lesotho. He is the youngest party leader of the newly founded Movement for Economic Change (MEC), which was announced on 1 February 2017. He formed this political party after he was suspended from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which is led by former deputy prime minister Mothejoa Metsing. He has served as a minister in the ministries of local government & chieftainship, Communications Science and Technology, Energy & Metereology, as well as Small Business & Cooperatives. Mochoboroane is the current member of parliament for the Thabana-Morena constituency in Mafeteng, Lesotho. He is also the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the 10th parliament of Lesotho.

Tom Thabane

Thomas Motsoahae "Tom" Thabane (born 28 May 1939) is a Mosotho politician who has been Prime Minister of Lesotho since June 2017. Previously he was Prime Minister from June 2012 to March 2015. He is leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party.

Thabane served in the government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili from 1998 to 2006, and at the time, was a member of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), but in 2006 he split from the LCD and launched the ABC. After more than five years in opposition, he built a coalition of 12 parties in the wake of the May 2012 parliamentary election and was appointed Prime Minister.

In the February 2015 parliamentary election, the All Basotho Convention was democratically removed from power by a seven-party coalition led by his rival and predecessor, Pakalitha Mosisili, although the ABC did win the highest number of constituencies. Two months later, Thabane fled to South Africa with two other opposition leaders, claiming that their lives were in danger. They returned to Lesotho on 12 February 2017 in order to participate in a parliamentary vote of no confidence that unseated Prime Minister Mosisili.


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