Political instability in Lesotho: Causes and possible remedies

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Mokete Pherudi


Lesotho presents one of the more unusual political complexities in Southern Africa. It became independent on 4 October 1966 and since then, it has been characterized by a deep constitutional crisis, lack of popular elected governments, dawn of coup d’états, schisms within the political parties, and rejection of the election outcomes. In 2002, the country adopted a Mixed Member Proportion (MMP) model from the First-Past-the-Post. However, the MMP model complicated the situation as it produced hung parliaments, which resulted in coalition governments, snap elections, and the use of the army to cling to power. This paper attempts to dig deeper into how these causes of instability manifested themselves. They are sub-divided into internal causes such as socio- economic, politics  and governance, politicization, and polarization of the public service, and regional causes. The paper concludes by suggesting possible remedies to the country’s instability.

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