January 27, 2023

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Statement by the Commonwealth Secretary-General on Lesotho elections

The Commonwealth Secretary-General has called for politicians and voters in Lesotho to commit to peace during the upcoming general election.

Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC urged all stakeholders to embrace peace and the values of democracy, as enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter.

She said:

“The conduct of elections is a major determinant of a country’s stability. The 7 October 2022 General Elections in Lesotho is no different, so it is vital that democratic values are protected and promoted.

“I reiterate the Secretariat’s resolute commitment to its relationship with the Kingdom of Lesotho and continuing to work with Basotho to advance our mutual goal of a stable and sustainable democracy, and most importantly a country that Basotho wishes for.

“The Commonwealth consistently advocates for inclusive electoral processes which are credible and transparent and enable the participation of young people, women and underrepresented populations.

“No electoral process is perfect, and I am encouraged by the largely peaceful conduct of the process thus far. I hope this is sustained throughout the election period, including on Election Day and in the post-election period. To ensure this, I urge all candidates to commit themselves to a peaceful, fair and transparent process.

“And in the post-election period, I appeal to the incoming government to ensure that a consensus is reached on the way forward for the national reform process, and that they pave a path towards its full implementation, to ensure stability and prosperity for Lesotho and its people.

“I wish the people of Lesotho a peaceful, credible, transparent and inclusive process as they go to the polls to write the next chapter of the story of their beautiful country.”

As part of the secretariat’s commitment to Lesotho, the Commonwealth Secretary-General has deployed an Observer Group led by former President of Seychelles, HE Danny Faure, to observe the 2022 general elections.

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