By: Thandiwe Kubere
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officially announced the results of the repeated local government elections, giving completion to its task for running the elections this year. The announcing of results, took place at Matekane Group of Companies on December 9th.
The repeated elections followed the challenges which were encountered during the previous elections, held on September 9th, 2023. Some of the Challenges IEC encountered included candidates who had a tie or similar number of votes leading to Re-Runs, standing candidates who died before the local government elections, which led to Fresh Elections, and candidates who passed on after winning the most election votes, leading to By-Elections.
The repeated elections were conducted on the 8th December 2023, in the 10 Electoral Divisions (ED) within the country’s five districts. Leribe had 5 EDS, Mafeteng 2 EDS, Thaba Tseka 1 ED, and last but not least Mokhotlong had 1 ED. In all, there was a total of 5 Re Runs, 4 Fresh Elections and 1 By Election.
For Fresh Elections, Maseru Municipal Council– MMC08 ED was won by Chabeli Thapelo of RFP with leading 444 votes. Theoha Mphoso Joseph of RFP, on the other hand, had the leading votes of 116 in Manka Community Council– C1007. As for Menkhoaneng Community Council– C0508, Moamohi Petrose- Independent candidate, won with 154 votes. Bolahla Community Council– C0211 had the leading votes of Silase ‘Matebello of LCD with 73 votes.
Coming to Re Runs, Ramoetsana Community Council– E0309, had Ratlali Hlekefa of MEC winning with 182 votes. Makoabating Community Council– E0504 had an Independent winner- Mathibela Nkaku with 154 votes. Sephokong Community Council– C0705 ED was won by Nkhasi Lephethesang of SR with 153 votes. Menoaneng Community Council– J0415 ED was won by AD‘s Manko Tebello with 151 votes. Bokong Community Council-K0410 ED was won by RFP‘s Sesheme Peo with 258 votes.
On the other hand, Mohlakeng Community Council-A0502 ED was won by RFP‘s Rajane Sekoala with 301 votes.
IEC Officers revealed that the elections went on smoothly, although the voters’ turnout was low due to the reason that the day was not declared a public holiday for local government elections, compared to the country’s prior elections. They said voters turned in small numbers as some went to work. Assisting returning officer of Mohlakeng 05, Ms Likeleli Bula enlightened that she believes most people did not show up because they had to go to work.
Giving his remarks, IEC Chairman, Mr Mphasa Mokhochane declared this was clear proof that the IEC had effectively completed its task. “On behalf of IEC, we would like to thank all those who spared their time to vote as this is of national importance. We would also like to thank the workforce for their dedicated work which they carried out well because we did not hear of any complains or complications with regard to Friday’s elections.
“Now, as we are in the festive season and approaching the year 2024, let us peacefully, with contentment, warmly accept the coming of the new year and the responsibilities it comes with”, he said.