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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The politics of coalition formation and democracy in Lesotho
Author:Kapa, Motlamelle AnthonyISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Volume:35
Issue:3
Pages:339-356
Language:English
Geographic term:Lesotho
Subjects:political parties
coalitions
political elite
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589340903017999
Abstract:Although relatively new to the African continent, political parties' coalitions/alliances are becoming entrenched in Africa's political systems as weapons through which the political elite fights political battles. Lesotho's experience of the phenomenon began in the run-up to the 17 February 2007 snap elections and it seems that in Lesotho coalitions are more likely to endure. Drawing examples from other countries with a longer history of coalitions than Lesotho, this paper contributes to the current debate on the value of this phenomenon and its implications for Lesotho's nascent democracy. Although not a product of a democratic process themselves, for they have been formed by the political elite with no input from their parties' membership, Lesotho's coalitions have been a positive factor in the country's formal democracy. They have helped maintain the pre-election political status quo, and hence are beneficial to those forming them both within the opposition ranks and the ruling party. Coalition formation in Lesotho has been caused, to a large measure, by the office-seeking motives of the political elites and the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system. Acknowledging that coalitions will become part of Lesotho's politics, the author concludes that Lesotho should establish ways and means of regulating them so that they work in ways that preserve rather than undermine the spirit of the hard-fought-for MMP system. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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