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Lesotho Votes in General Election

  • VOA News

A Lesotho man wearing a traditional blanket prepares to vote at the Mpho primary school in Maseru, Lesotho, May 26, 2012.

A Lesotho man wearing a traditional blanket prepares to vote at the Mpho primary school in Maseru, Lesotho, May 26, 2012.

Voters in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho went to the polls Saturday to cast ballots in a general election that may not produce a clear winner.

More than 15 parties and several independent candidates are vying to replace Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

The prime minister quit the ruling party to run as the leader of the new Democratic Congress, which he formed earlier this year.

His closest challenger is Mothejoa Metsing, who reportedly led a movement to remove the prime minister as leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy.

Another contender is opposition leader Tom Thabane of the All Basotho Convention.

There are fears that inconclusive results could lead to post-election violence as happened in 1998, when South Africa had to send in troops to quell the deadly post-election unrest.

There have been no reports of unrest during Saturday's polls. Voters have expressed desire for change in the impoverished country where unemployment is high.

The tiny mountainous nation is completely surrounded by South Africa and heavily dependent on its bigger neighbor.

Since independence from Britain in 1966, Lesotho has experienced several military coups.
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