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News release

Basotho want more powers for the King, Afrobarometer survey shows

6 May 2022 Lesotho
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News release
Key findings
  • Almost nine out of 10 Basotho “agree” or “strongly agree” that the King should be able to make decisions even if they contradict advice from the prime minister (85%) and should have the power to appoint a caretaker government in the event of a successful no-confidence motion against the prime minister (86%) (Figure 1).
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents also express support for abolishing elections and Parliament and allowing the King to govern the country.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Basotho say chiefs’ daughters should have the same rights as sons to succeed to chieftainship (Figure 5). Support for gender equality in chieftainship succession is stronger among women than men (73% vs. 53%) (Figure 6).

Almost nine out of 10 Basotho say the King should have decision-making power on national issues as well as the power to appoint a caretaker government in the event of a parliamentary no-confidence vote for the prime minister, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

Indeed, a substantial majority of citizens would approve allowing the King to govern the country, survey findings show.

Basotho also express majority support for a daughter’s right to succeed to chieftainship.

These findings follow a recent High-Level Reflective Stakeholder Forum at which the National Reforms Authority (NRA) reported on progress in implementing a series of constitutional reforms aimed at ensuring peace and stability. At the end of the four-day meeting, the NRA released its 2021 National Reforms Authority Report, which cites a list of proposed reforms that would require a referendum, including “the powers of the King” and “female succession to chieftainship.”