Internal self-determination in Lesotho in the eighties

Internal self-determination refers to the right of a people to determine how it shall be governed, and the right to be free from despotic governments. The electoral process is an important step towards the realization of internal self-determination. The rulers of Lesotho today agree with this interpretation of self-determination and are calling for elections with ever increasing intensity. Is this call a mere slogan, or a genuine expression of a conviction, in a country which since 1970 has not had an elected government? An analysis of the legislative arrangements in Lesotho for the conduct of elections, in particular the Parliament Act 1983 and the Electoral Act 1968 as amended in 1984, indicates that these are not conducive to genuine internal self-determination. As a backup system to the electoral legislation, Lesotho retains an array of security legislation which inhibits free political expression and action and which is in conflict with another condition for genuine self-determination, respect for human rights. Notes, ref. Also published in: Zambia Law J. – Vol. 16 (1984); p. 1-20.

Title: Internal self-determination in Lesotho in the eighties
Author: Maope, Kelebone A.
Year: 1984
Periodical: Jahrbuch fr afrikanisches Recht
Volume: 5
Pages: 95-115
Language: English
Geographic term: Lesotho
Subject: election law
Abstract: Internal self-determination refers to the right of a people to determine how it shall be governed, and the right to be free from despotic governments. The electoral process is an important step towards the realization of internal self-determination. The rulers of Lesotho today agree with this interpretation of self-determination and are calling for elections with ever increasing intensity. Is this call a mere slogan, or a genuine expression of a conviction, in a country which since 1970 has not had an elected government? An analysis of the legislative arrangements in Lesotho for the conduct of elections, in particular the Parliament Act 1983 and the Electoral Act 1968 as amended in 1984, indicates that these are not conducive to genuine internal self-determination. As a backup system to the electoral legislation, Lesotho retains an array of security legislation which inhibits free political expression and action and which is in conflict with another condition for genuine self-determination, respect for human rights. Notes, ref. Also published in: Zambia Law J. – Vol. 16 (1984); p. 1-20.