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Refereed articles

Formation of a government in Lesotho in the case of a hung Parliament – pg.174.

The reform of the electoral system in Lesotho from the constituency based to a mixed one has affected not only the structure of constitutional democracy but also the dynamics of parliamentary politics. Prior to the reforms, political contestation - which was largely majoritarian – was aimed at an outright majority in Parliament in order to form a government.  The introduction of a mixed electoral system after the 1998 political discontent ushered in a paradigm of alliance politics in the country.  While the trend began to be apparent in the run-up to the 2007 parliamentary election, it became completely clear with the outcome of the 2012 parliamentary election which produced no outright majority for a single political party. While these electoral reforms brought about a shift from Westminster electoral conventions, the Constitution largely remains stuck with the British based constitutional conventions on the formation of a government. The contention of this article is that where an election has not produced an outright majority for a single party in parliament, Westminster conventions remain a guide for the formation of a government in Lesotho. The article extrapolates these conventions to bring some meaning to clauses of the Constitution of Lesotho and make recommendations for reform.

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