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IEC announces dates for election registration

Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced on Wednesday that the country’s long awaited general elections will be held in 2002, African Eye News Service reported. IEC chairman Leshele Thoahlane said eligible voters would be able to register to vote between 13 August and 9 September at 1,300 registration centres.

The final voters’ list is expected to be completed by the end of January 2002. Thoahlane said at least five months were needed before the registration period to allow for a voter education campaign and to ensure that all the necessary equipment, voter manuals and training materials were in place. Computer hard and software also needed to be upgraded and staff had to be trained, he added.

The elections follow the aborted 1998 general elections which gave the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 79 seats in an 80-seat legislature and led to nationwide riots. South Africa sent in its army to restore peace. Disgruntled opposition parties formed the Interim Political Authority (IPA) to prepare for the new elections. The then IEC was dismissed from office and the present five-member commission was established.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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