Maseru, Sept. 10 — The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says the ballot paper for the forthcoming Local Government elections arrived in the country on Saturday night loaded in two trucks from neighbouring South Africa.
IEC Deputy Public Relations Officer, Ms. Reitumetse Makuetje told the Agency on Sunday that the ballot paper is being at kept the Commission’s Warehouse under heavy security manned by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members.
She said the IEC officers were accompanied by the Logistics Committee consisting of political parties’ representatives and members of the media.
Furthermore, she said the ballot paper will be sorted out beginning Monday for it to be ready to be distributed in the 10 districts of the country in preparation for the September 29 Local Government elections.
On the other hand one of the media houses which were part of the delegation that went to South Africa to fetch the ballot paper as observers, said they were allowed to see the process of printing the Ballot paper from the first step up to the end.
Mrs. Nthabeleng Seitlheko-Nkoho from Moeletsi Oa Basotho said they were under heavy security from the South Africa side up to the Maseru border where they also found police and the army security waiting for their arrival.
She said upon their arrival at the IEC’s Warehouse, they found political parties waiting to receive the ballot paper to check if there was any tempering or not.
Mrs. Seitleho-Nkoho noted that the political parties’ representatives verified the seal numbers of the ball paper and even took their numbers to ascertain that there was no tempering of any sort.
She described that there will be two ballot papers one for a political party and another one for electing a Community Councillor.
However, she noted that there was one ballot paper for Ts’itsong Community Council in the Quthing district which was not printed since there is no contest after an Independent Candidate in the area was not challenged.
“Our role as representatives of the media was to play the observation role as well as for the IEC to promote transparency by including media to be part of the electioneering process in order to promote trust in the whole process,” she commented.
The Local Government elections were first held in 2005 in the country where people are given a chance to elect representatives at community level for developmental projects.