The 1993 Constitution states that the country
should be a democratic monarchy with multi-party systems
and parliamentary rule. Thus, the party that succeeds in
gathering a majority in Parliament will form a
government. These rules of the game have usually been
followed even though the elections themselves are
surrounded by accusations of electoral fraud. Since
2012, the political situation has been very unstable
with violence and attacks on politicians.
The monarch (head of state) has only representative
information and serves as a unifying symbol for the
Total population and chart of Lesotho for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Parliament consists of two chambers, the
National Assembly and the Senate.
The legislative power lies with the National Assembly,
which consists of 120 members. 80 are elected by
majority vote in one-man constituencies and 40 are
elected according to a proportional system when the
votes are counted for the entire country. The term of
office is five years. The Senate has 33 members, of
which 22 are traditional chieftains and eleven are
appointed by the ruling party. The Senate reviews and
approves the laws passed by the National Assembly but
cannot initiate laws on its own.
Party politics is dominated more by people than by
ideologies. The two oldest parties - Basotho
National Party (Basotho National Party, GDP)
and Basotho Congress Party (Basotho
Congress Party, BCP) - have both lost in influence.
In 1997, Lesotho Congress for Democracy
(LCD) was formed through an
outbreak of BCP. LCD won all elections until 2007, but
was weakened by internal contradictions. In 2012, many
of the party members followed with Prime Minister
Pakalitha Mosisili as he left the LCD and formed the
Democratic Congress (DC).
The party won the elections held in 2012 and 2015, but
lost 2017 to the Allbasothian Convention
DC, in turn, split in 2016 when DC's Deputy Party
leader Monyane Moleleki was excluded after a battle for
the party leader post and founded a new party of the
Democrats Alliance (Alliance of
Democrats, AD). A number of members
followed with Moleleki. The party came four in the 2017
elections and became part of the coalition government
that was then formed.
All Basotho Convention (All Basotho Convention,
ABC) also has roots in LCD. After a
power struggle between Mosisili and one of his ministers
Tom Thabane in 2004, Thabane broke out of LCD and formed
ABC. The party won the election in 2012, lost barely
against DC in the new election in 2015, but came back to
power in 2017.
Otherwise, there are up to ten smaller parties.
The judiciary is a mixture of the British legal
system, which Lesotho has inherited from the colonial
era, and local courts applying domestic customary law.
Women and men should be equal before the law, but it
often happens that men invoke customary law, which
violates women's rights.
The death penalty is formally left in the legislation
and can be punished for some particularly serious
crimes. No executions have been carried out since 1995.
Lesotho receives criticism from human rights
organizations for slow judicial processes, poor
conditions in prisons and police violence.