Lesotho: Independent Electoral Commission
Updated July 2011
Note: See also: MOTTIAR, S 2002, Lesotho Elections 2002: The Independent Electoral Commission.
The IEC was instituted by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished the Constituency Delimitation Commission and the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Articles 66-66D). The IEC is independent from the control or direction of any person or authority (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Articles 66C, 66D).
The IEC is comprised of a Chairperson who has held, currently holds or is qualified to hold, high judicial office and two other members who either possess the same qualifications as the Chairperson, or who have considerable experience or competence in administration or in the conduct of public affairs (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66(1)-(6)).
Appointment is made by the King on the advice of the Council of State. The Council of State solicits candidates from the all registered political parties. Members are not allowed to be an office-bearer of a political party, a member of a local authority nor in public office, other than a Judge of the High Court or the Court of Appeal (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66(1)-(6)).
Members may be only removed for incompetence or misconduct by a tribunal selected by the Chief Justice (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66(10)-(13)).
Term of Office
Office shall not exceed 6 years with a renewal for only one further term, not exceeding 6 years (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66(7)).
The Constitution lays down the following responsibilities (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66A(1)):
- To conduct and supervise National Assembly and local government elections and referenda and ensure that they are free and fair.
- To delimit constituencies.
- To register voters and to create and maintain a voters roll.
- To promote knowledge of electoral processes.
- To register political parties.
- To adjudicate disputes.
Electoral law adds to this list the following duties (National Assembly Election Order 1992, 4):
- To establish and maintain relations with civil society actors and political parties.
- To undertake and promote electoral research.
- To review legislation and make recommendations for improvement.
- To promote civic education.
- To facilitate the development and transfer of electoral technology.
- To develop and maintain a register of candidate and party political symbols.
Director of Elections
The Director of Elections is the executive arm of the IEC and is appointed by it in consultation with the Public Service Commission. The Director is directly answerable to the IEC (National Assembly Election Order 1992, 9D).
The following are commissioners of the IEC (IEC 2011):
- Limakatso Mokhothu - Chairperson
- Mr Malefetsane Nkhahle - Commissioner
- Dr Johnson Fako Likoti - Commissioner
Independent Electoral Commission: "Report on the Lesotho 26 May 2014 National Assembly Elections", [www] http://www.iec.org.ls/images/iecdocs/26%20May%202012%20National%20Assembly%20Report%20V6%202014.pdf (accessed 25 May 2015).
The IEC receives funding from Parliamentary appropriations (Constitution of Lesotho 1993, Article 66D).
CONSTITUTION OF LESOTHO 1993, does not contain any amendments, [www] http://aceproject.org/regions-en/eisa/LS/Constitution%20of%20Lesotho%201993.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 8 Mar 2010).
IEC 2011 "Commission", [www] http://www.iec.org.ls/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=28 [opens new window] (accessed 1 July 2011.
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION ORDER 1992, 9D.
SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION ACT 1997, [www] http://aceproject.org/ regions-en/eisa/LS/Second%20Amendment%20to%20the%20Constitution%20Act%201997.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 8 Mar 2010).
Official web site
Independent Electoral Commission: [www] http://www.iec.org.ls/ [opens new window].