Lesotho: Political Leaders Sign Electoral Code of Conduct

Lesotho: Political Leaders Sign Electoral Code of Conduct

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The political leaders signed the electoral code of conduct at the ceremony held in Maseru on Thursday.

Speaking at the event, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson, Mr. Mphasa Mokhochane said since His Majesty has announced election day, the election period has begun thus election campaigns, which will run for 90 days can resume.

He said these campaigns are different from the usual ones as they will be regulated by the electoral code of conduct that the Parliament of Lesotho implemented.

He stated that the code of conduct will assist party leaders, supporters and members of the public as the elections are a race that needs to be regulated.

He urged leaders to avoid statements that could cause conflicts or harass other leaders, adding that posters and billboards used for campaigns should not be destroyed by other leaders and reminded them to remove billboards 24 hours before election day.

‘Let us stop carrying guns and weapons during rallies as they should reflect peace,’ he said.

He further urged them to refrain from giving voters presents before elections, saying leaders are expected to elaborate and discuss the code of conduct during campaigns as this will contribute to peaceful elections.

Speaking at the same event, IEC Commissioner, Mr. Ts’oeu Petlane said this week marks the beginning of the election period, saying leaders should lead the community to a common value and ethical bond that will guide behaviour.

He urged them to lead by example and reinforce common goals, saying they are expected to campaign fairly and humanly while avoiding conflicts.

He further said IEC and leaders should involve public participation and should do things in the open and provide transparent information.

Though most parties signed, the Democratic Party of Lesotho, Socialist Revolution and Prayer Shawl and Rights did not sign on grounds that they are awaiting a meeting to be held on Tuesday between IEC and Political Leaders.

The electoral code of conduct aims to among others, promote conditions for free, fair and transparent elections, free political campaigning and open public debate, freedom from fear, coercion, intimidation and violence as well as to ensure no defamation of character and misinformation.

His Majesty King Letsie III announced the 7th October 2022 as the general election day.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.

Source: APO