Lesotho’s general election was held on Friday, and the electoral commission expects a definitive result on Tuesday.

What’s happening now
Early polling results, however, indicate that the newly established Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party, led by Sam Matekane, a rich businessman who is the only party leader who has never served in government, is doing remarkably well.

Why this is remarkable
Party politics in Lesotho have been notoriously fractious and unpredictable for a small nation of just over two million people, comprised of one ethnic group speaking the same language and led by a revered constitutional monarch whose dynasty has ruled for nearly two centuries.

Despite the fact that 2,560 candidates from more than 50 parties ran in the election, the election is a four-horse race between four prominent parties including the newly formed party. 

What’s happening now
According to preliminary electoral commission findings, a newly formed party led by a millionaire diamond mogul appeared likely to win Lesotho’s parliamentary election, having gained enough for a simple majority.

The results of the October 7th election were in for 49 of the 80 constituencies by Sunday afternoon. The Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party, founded in March by Sam Matekane, had garnered 41 seats, the bare minimum for a simple majority.

The present ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC), which has ruled the country of 2.14 million people since 2017, was doing poorly, with no seats won so far.

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