Lesotho. In the February parliamentary elections, ruling
Lesotho conquered Congress for Democracy (LCD). According to
CountryAAH, of the 80
direct-elected seats, 61 were granted LCD, while the All Basotho Convention (ABC) received only 17 seats. ABC was
formed in the autumn of 2006 by former Foreign Minister Tom
Thabane after resignation from LCD. He got 17 other MPs with
him, which led to the government remaining with the smallest
possible majority and preferring to announce rapid new
Another 40 parliamentary seats were distributed according
to a proportional system. A majority of these were awarded
to the National Independent Party (NIP), which shortly
before the election entered into an alliance with LCD
against the party leader's will. The opposition strongly
objected to how the mandate was distributed and demanded
that NIP's seats be given to the party leader and the
members around him who opposed the alliance with LCD.
Strikes and violent protests occurred sporadically
throughout the rest of the year and the regional cooperation
organization appointed Botswana's former president Ketumile
Masire to mediate.
In parallel with the political crisis, Lesotho was hit by the
most severe drought in 30 years. Food production decreased
by 40 percent and the problems were compounded by the severe
AIDS epidemic, which is estimated to have affected every
fourth adult, causing a shortage of agricultural workers.
Lesotho - Maseru
Maseru, capital of Lesotho; 330,800 residents (2016). Maseru, the country's
only urban center of importance, is located 1,506 meters above sea level near
the border with the Free State Province of South Africa. The city is connected
to South Africa's railway network for the transport of goods and labor.
Maseru was founded in 1869 by the base chick Moshoeshoe I. The city has its
own university since 1975.