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The Secretary General (SG) of the Commonwealth, Ms. Patricia Scotland arrived in Lesotho on a peace-keeping mission and reaffirmation of support to the Kingdom.

Communication Officer of the Commonwealth, Ms. Natricia Duncan said the SG will meet with political leaders in Lesotho to reaffirm the Commonwealth’s support to the country ahead of general elections to be held on June 03.

Ms. Duncan said the SG's visit from April 24 -27 is part of the Commonwealth’s long-standing engagement with Lesotho, which entails assistance to the country that include support with the development of Lesotho’s parliamentary governance, observation of elections, and the follow up of observer group recommendations to strengthen democracy and improve electoral processes.

'As this is the second time a coalition government in Lesotho collapses since the 2012 elections and the last coalition fell on 1 March after a motion of no confidence vote, SG Scotland said her aim is to determine how the Commonwealth can support the peace-building agenda and assist the country to implement reforms and recommendations from observers and envoys, and there is good practice in effective coalition governance throughout the Commonwealth that all can draw upon', she said.

She also highlighted that during the mission, SG Scotland will explore how the Commonwealth can work with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), other development partners, faith-based organisations and other NGOs to promote peaceful elections and implementation of reforms, adding that this is a critical time for Lesotho as it prepares for elections, and it is important that it is reassured of a firm commitment to continue supporting its democracy and development.

The SG's engagement is in line with the 2017 Commonwealth theme, ‘A peace-building Commonwealth’.

The theme this year is about building democratic institutions, holding credible elections, upholding human rights and promoting good governance.

The Secretary General leaves the country on Thursday and  is expected to head to Malawi for a meeting with the President and officials in Lilongwe.


Source: LENA 25/04/2017



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