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Chinese-led party gets IEC nod


Mohloai Mpesi

Basotho Pele (BP), a political party led by a naturalised Mosotho man of Chinese descent, Zhen Yu Shao, has successfully registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The development means that Shao, who contested the 2022 general elections as an independent candidate, can now contest under the banner of his new party.

The registration of Shao’s party was announced by IEC’s public relations manager, Tuoe Hantši on Monday this week.

“IEC hereby informs voters and the public that it has registered a new party called Basotho Pele, which is led by Zhen Shao,” said.

Shao’s independent candidacy was initially met by strong opposition through a high court application filed by the Council of Advocates and Ambassadors Association to have Shao contesting in the nation elections.

Among other things, the application sought to block Shao from participating in the poll, as his election would plunge the government back to the dark days of colonialism and slavery.

The application was eventually dismissed, and Shao unsuccessfully contested the Ha Tsolo constituency in Maseru.

The IEC has meanwhile, announced that it has deregistered seven political parties.

These are Hamore Democratic Party (HDP), Tšepo ea Basotho (TEB), People’s Convention (PC), Alliance of All Basotho Victims (ABV), Mojalefa Development Movement (MDM), White Horse Party (WHP) and Senkatana Social Democrats (SSD).

“This means that there are now 59 political parties that have registered with the Commission after cancelling the seven and registering one party,” Hantsi said.

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