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Lesotho

Yearbook 1998

Lesotho. According to Countryaah, Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle resigned in January as leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). He also dissolved Parliament and announced new elections. New party leader and prime minister became Pakalitha Mosisili.

1998 Lesotho

In the May election, LCD won 79 of the 80 seats, and the opposition accused LCD of cheating and demanded that the election be annulled. In August, the opposition began conducting daily demonstrations in the capital Maseru. Clashes occurred and several people were killed.

In September, parts of the army revolted, and the commander was taken prisoner and forced to retire. Government administration was paralyzed by strikes. At Prime Minister Mosisili's request, South Africa intervened with 600 soldiers and Botswana with 300. They faced fierce resistance and hundreds of people were killed during the ensuing days' fighting, including many civilians and nine South Africans. Maseru was looted and parts of the capital burned down. After a week, the uprising was put down after the intervention force was strengthened.

The government and the opposition set up a joint "executive transitional council" which, in parallel with the government, would overhaul the electoral system and reorganize the electoral commission for new elections that were promised until April 2000.

 
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