Parties battle it out in the ‘public poll’ through star rallies


Mr Mzimkhulu Sithetho

Managing Director of the Governance Institute for Sustainable Development and Editor-In-Chief of

Political party members often make efforts to appear their best in terms of dressing the best, glad in their parties regalia during the final, star rallies. They come in great numbers to demonstrate their parties’ strength. The star rallies give just an impression of the numerical strength of the parties, but the real strength is shown in the ballot box.
MASERU - The 1st and 2nd October 2022 were derby days for ‘big parties’ to showcase their ‘follower strength and might’, or numerical strength, which is largely viewed as an indicator of the ‘voter strength’ to be demonstrated at polling day.

Members of various parties, glad in their parties’ attractive regalia, took every opportunity to flaunt their parties’ numerical might by spiritedly, animatedly and sparklingly attending their final or star rallies.

Members, who were in their jovial, exuberant and jubilant mood, moved up and down across all places in the vicinities of the rally arena, facially, bodily and spiritually showcasing their satisfaction with being associated with the parties they were in.

Ferried to the final rally venues, from various all corners of the country, the parties’ members ululated, chanted their parties’ slogans, cheered and danced in style to the political songs of their parties. 

Normally, the parties’ songs are praises of the parties, their leaders and also jeer to those of opposition sides.

The voters, journalists and political analysts keenly watched as parties flaunted their ‘numerical strengths’ as exemplified by their followers’ attendance, through these final political rallies. However, the climate was free and calm across the board.

On Saturday, the Alliance of Democrats (AD), led by veteran politician, Monyane Moleleki made its final show of rallies at the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village in Thaba-Bosiu. 

The AD members, glad in while, red and black t-shirts, caps, berets, suits  and other attired, cheered their leaders as they took to stage. The AD has fielded 80 candidates in all the 80 constituencies.

There has been feeling around the political landscape that the AD has slightly diminished in terms of member strength, in comparison with the last election of 2017 when it contested in that poll.

Among others, triggers for the manifest decline of the member strength, at least demonstrated the people who attended the final rally and of course of prio rallies during the campaign period.

On the same day, members of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), also had their final political show at the Thotamoli. Glad in their white, green and purple t-shirts, caps, berets, spotties and suits. Some were glad in blankets.

There has been a feeling that the RFP, which is only seven months old, at the time of elections, has amassed phenomenal following in the political fold of Lesotho.

Taken to Thotamoli in a fleet of buses, the RFP members painted Masianokeng and Mazenod white, green and purple.  The members scattered across the Thotamoli arena.

On the second day, Sunday, 02 October 2022, two old parties, the All Basotho Convention (ABC) led by Nkaku Kabi, a young firebrand and the Democratic Congress (DC), led by also a young firebrand, Mathibeli Mokhothu showcased their numerical strengths in two different places - one at Masianokeng and the other at Sethaleng sa Mopapa.

There were mixed feelings about the numerical strengths of the two parties, which, until going to elections, have been leading the coalition government of the outgoing government.

There are feelings that the ABC had not made a good show at the final rally as it used to do in the last four elections the party has contested.

The ABC used to paint the Sethaleng arena yellow and the membership scattered all over the place up to the upper road on top of the Arena.

There would also be scores of ABC members all over the town and in neighbouring areas. However, this year, the membership of the ABC was limited to the lower part of the Sethaleng Arena, with the upper arena empty.

The ABC leader, Kabi proffered reasons why the attendance of the ABC was not as envisaged. He said that the ABC had procured the transport services of various bus corporations across the country, but have been disappointed to find that members from 24 constituencies have not been able to make it to the rally.

Mr Kabi indicated that as they addressed the rally, they were receiving calls from their members who were still waiting to be conveyed to the rally.

Mr Kabi’s explanation was intended to diffuse and dismiss perspectives and suspicions as well as perceptions that the ABC’s membership had dwindled.

On the other tail end, the arch-rival, DC, had its own political show at Masianokeng, where the largely red party held its final rally.

There was general feeling that the DC’s rally was well-attended, through its former leader, Pakalitha Mosisili complained about the busses which did not show up though they have been procured to offer transport services to ferry DC supporters to the final rally.

There is general feeling within the political landscape that there are mainly four parties that going to form the coalition government during the Eleventh Parliament of Lesotho.

Other parties, the Basotho Action Party (BAP), Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) held their final political shows during the week preceding the final the election.

The Movement for Economic Change (MEC) held its own on Tuesday, 04 October 2022, this being the last political show before elections.

However, the final rallies are just an indication of the numerical strength of the contesting parties, but real strength is demonstrated I the ballot box when voters have expressed their will. 

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