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    Lesotho Government 1998

      Country name
      conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
      conventional short form: Lesotho
      former: Basutoland

      Data code LT

      Government type parliamentary constitutional monarchy

      National capital Maseru

      Administrative divisions 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka

      Independence 4 October 1966 (from UK)

      National holiday Independence Day, 4 October (1966)

      Constitution 2 April 1993

      Legal system based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

      Suffrage 18 years of age; universal (constitutional amendment, July 1997)

      Executive branch
      chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996, succeeded to the throne following the death of his father, King MOSHOESHOE II, on 16 January 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne (November 1990 to February 1995) while his father was in exile
      head of government: Prime Minister Ntsu MOKHEHLE (since 2 April 1993)
      cabinet: Cabinet
      elections: none; the king is a hereditary monarch, but, under the terms of the constitution which came into effect after the March 1993 election, he has no executive or legislative powers; moreover, under traditional law the king can be elected or deposed by a majority vote of the College of Chiefs; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats usually becomes prime minister

      Legislative branch bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33 members - 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the ruling party) and the Assembly (65 seats; members elected for a five-year term by popular vote)
      elections: last held 27 March 1993 (next to be held in May 1998)
      election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BCP 65
      note: due to a schism in the BCP, Prime Minister Ntsu MOKHEHLE formed the new Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD in June 1997, taking 42 seats away from the BCP, reducing it to 23 seats and the role of an opposition party

      Judicial branch High Court, Chief Justice appointed by the king; Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court; customary or traditional court

      Political parties and leaders
      ruling party: Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD [Dr. Ntsu MOKHEHLE, leader; Shakhane MOKHEHLE, secretary general]
      opposition party: Basotho National Party or BNP [Evaristus SEKHONYANA]; Basotholand Congress Party or BCP [Molapo QHOBELA]; Ha Reeng ('Let's Go') Basotho Party or HBP [Khauta KHASU]; Lesotho Labor Party or LLP [Mamolefi RANTHIMO]; Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP [Vincent MALEBO]; National Progressive Party or NPP [Chief Peete Nkoebe PEETE, leader]; Sefate Democratic Union or SDU [Bofihla NKUEBE]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Charles MOFELI]

      International organization participation ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFCTU, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Eunice M. BULANE
      chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533 through 5536
      FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815

      Diplomatic representation from the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK
      embassy: 254 Kingsway, Maseru West (Consular Section)
      mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho
      telephone: [266] 312666
      FAX: [266] 310116

      Flag description divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper half is white, bearing the brown silhouette of a large shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue band with a green triangle in the corner

      NOTE: The information regarding Lesotho on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lesotho Government 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lesotho Government 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)