The party of Lesotho’s long-serving prime minister has won the country’s parliamentary elections, according to the African mountain kingdom’s electoral commission.
Results from all 80 constituencies released on Tuesday showed Pakalitha Mosisili’s Democratic Congress gaining 41 seats, the simple majority needed to form a government, though it may need to form a coalition to consolidate power.
The All Basotho Convention, the main opposition, won 26 seats.
Democratic Congress’ success marked a blow for the Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which Mosisili broke away from to form his own party shortly before Saturday’s vote due to an internal power struggle.
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which won elections in 1998, 2002 and 2007 under Mosisili, had 12 seats while another opposition party won one, according to the final results.
The election was considered one of the most closely fought since Lesotho, dubbed “the world’s highest country” because its lowest point is 1,380m above sea level, gained independence from the UK in 1966.
The country experienced a series of coups in the past but has been largely stable since South African military intervention in 1998 paved the way for a series of electoral reforms giving a greater voice to opposition parties.