Basotho National Party

The Basotho National Party is a political party in Lesotho, founded in the 1959 as the Basutoland National Party by Leabua Jonathan. He was Prime Minister from 1965 until the coup of 1986.

In the 1993 parliamentary election, the BNP received almost 23% of the vote but did not win any seats in the National Assembly, with all 65 seats going to the party's rival, the Basotho Congress Party (BCP). It suffered a similar defeat in the May 1998 parliamentary election, in which it won 24.5% of the vote but only one seat in the National Assembly. Due to its lack of success in winning constituencies, the party sought the introduction of proportional representation in deciding the allocation of seats; as a compromise, a mixed system providing for 40 compensatory seats that would be decided through proportional representation (in addition to the 80 constituency seats) was introduced.

Justin Lekhanya, the leader of the 1986 coup, was elected as Party Leader of the BNP at its Conference in March 1999. In the election for the National Assembly held on 25 May 2002, the party won 21 compensatory seats through proportional representation with 22.4% of the vote. Since then, the party has been rocked by internal squabbles which have seen it fail to provide an effective opposition within the Lesotho parliament. In the 17 February 2007 parliamentary election, the party won only 3 out of 120 seats.

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