What causes election-related conflict within democracies :a case study of Lesotho
Letsie, Tlohang Willie
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This research sought to understand the nature of election-related conflict and what needs to be done to arrest the eruption of such conflict in Lesotho. It sought the opinions of selectively respondents who have been involved in the conflicts in different ways. The interviews and documented literature revealed that what constitutes a background to election-related conflict involves issues that are many and varied. Among others such issues include the following: weak political institutions, use of vulgar language by political leadership, and the weak economy that intensifies neo-patrimonial tendencies. The research concluded that all the factors associated with the eruption of illegitimate conflicts during and after general elections in Lesotho are a result of the politicians' desire to retain or capture national resources to satisfy their selfish interests and those of their cronies. The conflicts could be minimised if the country's economy could be transformed to provide the politicians with alternatives of economic survival outside the structures of government. Furthermore, to minimise the conflict, the country should consider establishing electoral courts. These have the potential of speeding up the resolution of electoral grievances, in the process preventing them from graduating into serious conflicts.