The Lesotho Council of NGOs took part in the observation of
the National by-elections held in the Hololo, Mpharane and
Sebapala constituencies on the 22nd May 2010. LCN had sent a
delegation of about 17 people, with atleast 5 people in each
constituency. This preliminary statement therefore focuses
only on the observation done on the actual polling day.
LCN therefore makes the following pronouncement:
- Most polling stations opened relatively on time with
the necessary election materials available.
- Party agents as well as other observers apart from
LCN were present at the polling stations to witness the
process of voting and all were allowed to occupy their
- The voting process itself took place in a peaceful
environment, with the voting procedures being fairly
- The process of counting of the ballots also happened
in a transparent manner in the presence of the
- On the overall therefore, it can be said that the
voting happened freely and fairly.
- Polling Stations were not far apart from each other
which allowed voters not to travel long distances in
view of the terrain of the rural part of the country. A
fact that did not stretch both the elderly and disabled.
- While no serious problems were encountered on the
polling day, it was observed across the board that IEC
personnel present at the polling stations had not
received adequate training and as a result some delays
were caused, particularly during the counting stage and
this became a concern to all the stakeholders present.
- Voter turnout was generally unsatisfactory in
comparison with those who had initially registered to
- Voter material for people with disability was quiet
sporadic. Thus only a minimal number of polling stations
had some of the materials while a considerable number
lacked these materials.
- Some of the polling stations were not accessible to
the very people with disability.
LCN will therefore engage IEC further in the extensive
and indepth report that the Council will furnish to the
Commission in due course. This report will be made
accessible once its published.