Maseru (Lesotho) (AFP) — Lesotho’s King Letsie III dissolved parliament on Friday ahead of a February election designed to restore peace to the kingdom after an attempted coup.
The dissolution is part of a peace deal reached by a regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“This shows that we are complying with the SADC roadmap to bring peace and security back to Lesotho,” Thabo Thakalekoala, spokesman for Prime Minister Tom Thabane, told AFP.
The tiny kingdom which is surrounded by South Africa, last held elections in 2012, which resulted in a shaky coalition government.
Matters came to a head with the August 30 putsch, when soldiers raided the official residence of Prime Minister Tom Thabane, causing him to flee into nearby South Africa. The attempted coup exposed friction between the Lesotho military and the police, pushing the country to the brink of a full-blown conflict.
Early last month, South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa helped broker a political agreement that re-opened parliament for the first time since June and pushed forward national elections by more than two years.