March 13, 2017 / 1:13 PM / 8 months ago

Lesotho to hold general election June 3

MASERU (Reuters) - Lesotho’s King Letsie III has set June 3 as the date for the general election, the prime minister said on Monday, a week after parliament was dissolved.

Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili of Lesotho addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosilili, who has been in power for two years, lost a confidence vote in parliament earlier this month after several defections by ruling-coalition lawmakers to the opposition had badly weakened his support.

“The office of His Majesty has confirmed the date for General Elections as 03 June 2017 in Lesotho,” Mosisili’s office said in a statement.

Political analysts say Lesotho now faces a period of political instability. Its last two elections failed to produce a winner with a clear majority.

Lesotho, a mountainous, landlocked country of 2 million people surrounded by South Africa, has been hit by several coups since independence from Britain in 1966.

Reporting by Marafaele Mohloboli; Writing by TJ Strydom; Editing by James Macharia

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