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AUF PREPARES FOR 2002 ELECTIONS IN LESOTHO

As the elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho draw ever closer, the AUF representative in Lesotho Anyanwu Chikadibia will be holding a workshop for the political parties leaders on politics before election, politics during elections and politics after elections. "I am telling them that the most important is politics after elections," because history has shown that it is important to know how to manage defeat, so that it does not always have to resolve into violence.

Registration for the elections began on 13 August with voting scheduled for April/may 2002. In August 2001 the information technology giant, Arivia.kom, was been awarded a R15.5 million contract to deliver an integrated voter registration and election system for the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.    
    
The contract involves the provision of a total IT solution. This includes: setting up the sites; providing software; registration of voters; capturing of biological data, fingerprint, photograph and signature onto databases; issuing of cards; and production of a voters' roll which includes the biological information, for double checking.    

In the meantime, Lesotho's NGOs are lobbying against a complex election bill which they allege could deepen the country's political instability if passed by parliament.

The Elections Amendment Bill being debated introduces a "mixed member" system under which 80 MPs are to be elected under a first-past-the-post constituency-based system, with another 40 members to be elected on the basis of proportional representation. According to the bill, the allocation of seats for one party will be determined by dividing the total votes by 120 or any number of constituencies that successfully contested elections, including the 40 proportional representation seats.     

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