Mosisili clinches landslide victory

MASERU - Lesotho's ruling party clinched a landslide win in weekend elections, according to final results released yesterday, but the leader of the main opposition party immediately challenged the outcome.

MASERU - Lesotho's ruling party clinched a landslide win in weekend elections, according to final results released yesterday, but the leader of the main opposition party immediately challenged the outcome.

The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) took 61 of the 80 parliamentary seats contested. The opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC), which before the polls had been tipped to unseat prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili, won only 17.

The LCD win entitles 61-year-old Mosisili to a third term in office.

Opposition leader Tom Thabane has alleged irregularities in voter registration and has accused government officials of busing LCD supporters into marginal constituencies.

"My impression is that the atmosphere was peaceful and I think we are all free to vote as we like, but I cannot add the word 'fair'," Thabane said.

He said he felt his party should have won more than 30 constituencies and that he would be taking some of his grievances to court.

Thabane said his supporters had been asked not to resort to violence.

The election results of one constituency were not announced because of the death of a candidate.

Of the 40 seats allocated by proportional representation in the 120-member parliament, the LCD's alliance partner, the National Independence Party, won 21 and the ABC's alliance partner, the Lesotho Workers' Party, took 10.

Development in Lesotho, one of the world's most impoverished countries, has been handicapped by HIV-Aids, which affects 30percent of the population.- Sapa-AFP

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