Contesting and Turning Over Power: Implications for Consolidation of Democracy in Lesotho

Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all but one of the country’s constituencies under a first-past-the-post electoral system, and a military intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was required to restore order.This paper examines what effect, if any, this electoral history has had on Basotho views and perceptions of democracy. Using data from five Afrobarometer surveys going back to 2000, it asks whether the country’s regular contestation and recent turnover of power have changed citizens’ commitment to democracy.

1 February 2015