Votes were being counted on 18 February after parliamentary elections in the tiny African kingdom of Lesotho.
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has ruled the country for the past decade, but has increasingly been accused of failing to deliver on promises of economic growth and jobs.Following is a chronology of key dates in the mountainous kingdom since it returned to civilian government after seven years of military rule.
In 1993 Lesotho returned to civilian rule. The Basotholand Congress Party (BCP) won a landslide victory in elections, scooping all 65 seats.In 1994 Letsie III dissolved the BCP government but was forced to return it to power six weeks later after diplomatic intervention by Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana. The deal also saw King Moshoeshoe II, living in exile in London, restored as monarch in early 1995.
In January 1996 King Moshoeshoe II was killed in a car accident. Letsie III becomes king.In 1997 infighting within the BCP sees Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle crossed the parliamentary floor with most MPs to form the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and form a new government.
In May 1998 Pakalitha Mosisili won election after succeeding Mokhehle as LCD leader and prime minister, and LCD takes all but one of the 80 parliamentary seats. Opposition leaders say the vote was fraudulent.
In September1998 South African and Botswanan troops march into Lesotho at Mosisili’s request to quell an army mutiny. In December 2001 Parliament approved a new electoral law.In May 2002 LCD is declared winner of elections. Mosisili sworn in for second term in June.
In February 2004 Mosisili declared state of emergency, appealed for more food aid, saying Lesotho needs 57,000 tonnes of food for some 600,000 people who need feeding until the 2005 harvest.In November 2005 Lesotho said it will launch door-to-door HIV tests, hoping to turn back an epidemic that has infected almost one third of the adult population.In October 2006 Lesotho marked 40 years of independence from Britain with a new flag, replacing one introduced during military rule that ended in 1993.In November 2006 Lesotho called elections for February 2007.