By Sechaba Mokhethi
Qacha’s Nek – Despite minor challenges experienced ahead of polls, voting was able to begin smoothly with voters determined to make 85 percent target turnout possible.
The Lesotho chapter of Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA Lesotho) was able to observe the election processes as they unfolded at Hermitage Primary and Makhaola High School voting stations.
At Hermitage, 28 party agents were expected but the Voting Station Manager Seithati Ramaputle said only 18 party agents had shown up, about 20 minutes before voting took off.
Parties appeared to have not prepared stationing of their agents in a way that they would be able to cast their votes where they are stationed. This was confirmed to MISA Lesotho by one Democratic Party of Lesotho (DPL) agent who wanted to leave Hermitage Primary to go and vote elsewhere.
The agent said was alone representing his party in the voting station and had no substitution, meaning when he left, his party was not represented until he returned.
At Makhaola High School, 2337 voters are expected to cast their votes. The first voter arrived at 4am saying she wanted to be able to attend other personal business. Interviewed voters said their determination is spurred by their thirst for meaningful developments, such as bridge connecting White Hill village with Tebellong situated in Lebakeng constituency, tarred road from Ha Mpiti to Sehlabathebe and locally owned shops selling fresh items.
There has also been one error spotted in the same constituency as the name of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) candidate, Makoae Lerotholi, was misspelled on all the ballots of Qacha’s Nek. On the ballot paper, the name appeared as Makaola Lerotholi.
The Qacha’s Nek Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials in consultation with all relevant stakeholders including party agents corrected the name on all the ballots and voting was done smoothly.