MASERU — The success of the Democratic Congress (DC)’s maiden rally on Sunday should not be seen as an indication that the party will romp to victory in the May 26 election, analysts have said.
Dr Motlamelle Kapa, from the Department of Social Sciences at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), said it was not new in Lesotho for political parties to organise successful rallies “only for the polls to tell a different story”.
“We should therefore not make the assessment that (Prime Minister Pakalitha) Mosisili has retained the support of the grassroots based on the attendance and success of his political party’s rally,” Kapa said.
Kapa said in 1998, three prominent political parties of that era, Basotho National Party (BNP), Basotho Congress Party and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) all held what seemed to be successful rallies.
“But only the LCD went on to win the polls. This goes to show that attending rallies is one thing while voting is something else altogether,” Kapa said.
Kapa warned that successful as the rally might have been “things can go either way”.
He however said the fact Mosisili had worked hard to make his maiden rally a success “should not be ignored”.
“There were so many people there, probably because Mosisili worked hard. But we should also bear in mind that it’s not necessarily a reflection of what will happen in the box,” Kapa said.
Tlohang Letsie, a lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at NUL, says it would be premature to make an assessment “based on the success of a political rally”.
“In 1998, the BNP rally seemed to be the biggest of them all. It was easy for one to conclude that it would acquire many constituencies. But that was not the case,” Letsie said.
“The same happened with the ABC, whose last election campaign rally before elections was the biggest ever. It did not win the election as had been anticipated.”
He added: “The DC is holding the government purse, which is more than we can say for other parties. There was also the provision of free transport from constituencies to the rally.”