A serious political crisis in 2014 led to new
elections the following year. The Democratic Congress
(DC) won by a slight margin but its government was
already overthrown after a year. In the 2017 election,
Thomas Thabane from the Allbasothian Convention (ABC)
regained power. His new tenure was blighted by a murder
scandal and a tough internal power struggle. In May 2020
When DC leader party leader Pakalitha Mosisili took
office as prime minister in 2015, he faced the same
challenges as all heads of government before him: to
cure poverty, unemployment, and the lack of care,
schools and infrastructure.
Country facts and history of Lesotho, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Poverty is particularly widespread in rural areas.
Lesotho is also severely affected by HIV / AIDS. Almost
a quarter of all adults are HIV-infected.
Economically, Lesotho is dependent on South Africa
which completely surrounds the country. Many Lesothians
work in South Africa and have recently found it more
difficult to find jobs there due to financial problems
in the South African mining industry.
There is an increased tension between the Lesothians
and Asian businessmen who have started to operate in
Lesotho and thus outcompete local traders.
Continued power struggle
In recent years, domestic policy has also been
characterized by continued instability and power
struggles. Following his resignation as head of
government in March 2015, Mosisili re-elected General
Tlali Kamoli, who had been appointed Secretary of
Defense a year earlier when ABC and Thomas Thabane were
in power (see Modern History).
With Kamoli's re-entry, the contradictions between
him and Thabane came to the surface again. Thabane's
bodyguards and a number of soldiers accused of planning
to overthrow the government were arrested and tortured.
Thabane fled to South Africa. Shortly thereafter,
Maaparankoe Mahao, who had replaced Kamoli in 2014, was
assassinated, prompting the regional cooperation
organization SADC to become involved in the conflict.
Kamoli was suspected of being behind the murder and
forced under the pressure of SADC, UN and US to resign
at the same time as the country's politicians were
persuaded to engage in a broad reform process under the
auspices of SADC. The purpose of the reforms was to
reduce the military's influence over politics and to
strengthen the judicial system and the independence of
New change of power
In the fall of 2016, a struggle over economic policy
arose and the government lost its majority in
parliament. In early 2017, Thabane and other opposition
leaders returned from their exile. They initiated a vote
of confidence lost by the government. New elections
announced June 2017.
The election was won by Thabanes ABC with a good
margin of second DC. In third place came the Lesotho
Congress for Democracy (LCD). Four became a new party,
the Democrats' Alliance (AD), formed as an outbreak of
Although ABC had the most mandate, it lacked its own
majority in Parliament and therefore formed government
with the Democrats' alliance and a few smaller parties.
Thabane became head of government.
Any hopes for a more peaceful development after the
election came to shame in September 2017. Then Kamoli's
successor as defense chief was shot dead by two officers
who were supposedly loyal to his former boss. Shortly
thereafter, Kamoli was arrested for another murder and a
series of attempted murders during the 2014 crisis (see
Split at the top
In early 2019, a bitter power struggle broke out
within the ABC party. Prime Minister Thabane was
challenged by a faction led by Nqosa Mahao who was
elected vice-party leader at the party's congress in
February. Four other Thabana critics were simultaneously
elected to the party's executive committee. Thabane's
supporters tried to annul the critics' choice but
failed. In June of that year, criticism grew and during
the year the power struggle within ABC intensified.
While politicians were spending their time fighting
each other, the country was facing a serious food crisis
as a result of the widespread drought in southern
Africa. In the summer of 2019, the UN raised the alarm
that close to one-third of the country's population was
estimated to need food assistance at the end of the
In early 2020, Thabane's opponents were helped by the
country's police chief, who said he had evidence that
the prime minister may have been involved in the murder
of his former wife in 2017. The prime minister was
called for questioning but denied all involvement and no
charges were brought. However, his wife, Maesaiah
Thabane, was charged with involvement in the murder. In
February, Thabane promised to retire later in the year
and party pressure hardened. After a couple of months
when Thabane struggled for his political survival, in
May he gave a televised speech announcing his departure.
The 80-year-old Thabane stated high age as the cause.
New Prime Minister became the country's former Finance
Minister Moeketsi Majoro.
Follow the ongoing development in the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Muso among others Lesotho / Kingdom of Lesotho
monarchy, unitary state
Head of State
kung Letsie III
Head of government
Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro (2020−)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Allbasothic Convention (ABC) 48, Democratic Congress
(DC) 30, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 11,
Democratic Alliance (AD) 9, Movement for Economic Change
(MEC) 6, Basotho National Party (GDP) 5, other 8 (2017)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Democratic Congress (DC) 47, Allbasothic Convention
(ABC) 46, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 12,
Basotho National Party (GDP) 7, others 8 (2015)
missing information for the 2017 parliamentary
2022 parliamentary elections