FUNCTIONS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
It is the main
legislative body. It enacts laws for the good governance and
administration of the country and scrutinizes the political
executive on the management and administration of the
affairs of the land.
HISTORY OF THE LESOTHO
The April 1965
first-past-the-post type of elections produced a
sixty-member National Assembly of the Parliament of the
Kingdom of Lesotho with the Basotho National Party (BNP) in
Since independence, Lesotho has undergone a remarkable
metamorphosis in democratic and parliamentary dispensation.
Pursuant to the 1966 Constitution (and the 1993 Constitution
as amended) Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, continues
for five years from the date when the two Houses of
Parliament first meet after any dissolution and then stand
In 1969, Parliament was dissolved in preparation for the
first post independence general elections of January 1970.
The main opposition party, the Basotholand Congress Party (BCP)
won the elections. While elections were being announced, the
government declared a state of emergency, suspended the
constitution and ruled the country by decree. Political
party activity was suspended, initially for a period of five
years, which was subsequently changed in 1973.
In an attempt to restore democracy, an Interim National
Assembly, consisting of 93 members was established in 1973.
The BCP boycotted this Assembly. In 1985 the Interim
National Assembly was dissolved in preparation for general
elections. The run-up to this election was characterised by
disagreements. The Interim National Assembly had framed an
electoral legislation in a manner guaranteeing the retention
of power by the BNP government. As a result political
parties boycotted the elections.
On nomination day in August 1985, only the BNP presented
candidates for election. The BNP won all sixty
Constituencies. The government lasted for three months,
being toppled by the military on the 20th January 1986.
Following the overthrow of the BNP government, the affairs
and administration of the land were placed under the
Military Council from 1986 to 1992.
In 1990 the Military established a National Constituent
Assembly to prepare for the democratization road map. The
National Constituent Assembly had the powers of a lawfully
constituted Parliament. Its mandate was to chart a way
forward to the eventual democratic dispensation of 1993; the
basis of which was the 1966 suspended Constitution.
In March 1993, the Basotholand Congress Party won a
landslide victory by taking all the 65 constituencies. Out
of the 65 Members of Parliament, only three were women.
This Parliament dissolved in 1998 to prepare for the May 23
elections. The Lesotho Congress for Democracy, a breakaway
party from the BCP won 79 of the 80 seats in the National
The result of 1998 elections was bitterly contested.
Protracted debates on this matter eventually led to a
decision in 2001 to hold an advanced election. The 2002
elections were held under a mixed member proportional
representation electoral model i.e. a mixture of first past
the post and proportional representation.