A political party in Lesotho led by diamond businessman, Sam Metakane has won the most seats in the just concluded parliamentary elections. However, they were unable to secure an overall majority of seats in the house, resulting in even more political gridlock in the South African country.
The populist Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) won 56 of the 120 seats in parliament, but they will need to form a coalition with other smaller parties to maintain control of the legislative house.
Sam Metakane is widely regarded as Lesotho’s richest man. He began by selling donkeys before transitioning into the diamond business. He established the RFP in March, and its election success surprised many considering that the party was just established six months ago. However, there were hopes that the party would secure a majority of seats in parliament, paving the way for the first government change in more than five years.
According to the Independent Electoral Commission, the Democratic Congress Party, led by Mathibeli Mokhothu, received 29 votes to finish second, while the All Basotho Convention Party, which led the outgoing government, received only 8 votes. This represented a significant drop in support for the party.
Lesotho is a country of more than 2.1 million people, but it is one of the poorest in the world, with one-third of the population living on less than $1.90 per day. In recent years, the country has experienced various forms of political turmoil. The RFP has promised to address rampant corruption and create a level playing field for businesses.