By Mpho Shelile
IEC held a media briefing at MGC office park to bring the media and the nation up to speed about the termination of certain political parties. According to ADV. Lehlohonolo Lesupi the director of legal services at IEC, as of Thursday the 24 August, about fifteen political parties were terminated due to failure of complying with the elections act and membership regulations.
ADV. Lesupi emphasized that IEC is committed to fairness when it comes to elections henceforth every party is required to meet the stipulations outlined by Political Parties Law, and failure to do so, IEC will help assist the following party to meet the laws needed, however non-compliance will lead to suspension or terminated.
“From 08/07/2022 number of Registered Political Parties was 65, to date there is a total of 15 Deregistered parties, four of which were dissolved while ten were non-compliant with the exception of 1 party which produced fraudulent documentation” said ADV. Lesupi. He went on to further mention such parties, the first four which were dissolved were, Alliance of All Basotho Victims ABV, Hamore Democratic Party HDP, People’s Convention PC, Tšepo ea Basotho TEB
While the ten non-compliant were: All Democratic Corporation (ADC), Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP), Community Freedom Movement (CFM), Democratic Party of Lesotho (DPL), Majalefa Development Movement (MDM) ,Prayer Shawl and Light (PSL), Progressive Democrats (PD), Senkatana Social Democrats (SSD), True Reconciliation Unity (TRU) and White Horse Party (WHP).
IEC enunciated that the party which submitted fraudulent documentation was the Revolutionary Alliance of Democracy (RAD), with compliance issues include the existence of the office pursuant to section 24(6) (f) of the National Assembly Electoral Act, 2011, Compliance with the stipulations of party constitution Existence of a functional NEC and Paid-up membership in compliance with section 29(3) of the National Assembly Electoral Act, of 2011 which is to have an inspection of documents. RAD party has been cancelled for the following reasons.
“The party had submitted a fraudulent sub-lease and paid up membership in terms of section 24(4) of the National Assembly Electoral Act of 2011.The Party did not have an operational office of the Secretary General details Sublease was submitted on the 10/04/2023 as per request and was verified upon receipt, doubts were raised and on the 18/04/2023 IEC officers visited the premises with the purpose to investigate on the sublease” said ADV. Lesupi
Additionally, he stated that submitted signatures of the premises owner were forged by RAD. Yet again a list of their paid-up membership in January 2023 as per Section 29(3) of the National Assembly Electoral Act, 2011. Investigations on the 16th and the 17th May 2023 of Physical verification was conducted at the TSOLO and THESANE constituencies and all 13 people who were interviewed denied knowledge of the party in question.
He stated that on the 24th May 2023 there was a physical verification conducted at Thabana-Morena constituency where out of 6 interviewed 5 denied ever being members of the party, and on the 14th June 2023 IEC officers travelled to MALETSUNYANE constituency to verify the names which were submitted as of MOKHOTLONG and BOBATSI constituencies, 11 were verified on the list, 8 denied of knowing the party while 3 were declared dead by Chief Makholu Mahao.
ADV. Lesupi concluded by stating that the affirmation party is suspended for five years, without having to run or participate in any elections until their suspension is lifted.