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UN chief urges "peaceful, credible" elections in Lesotho

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed Lesotho's political progress, calling for an environment conducive to peaceful and credible elections in the African nation.

A statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson said the secretary-general noted the recent announcement by King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho that national elections will be held on Feb. 28, 2015.

"The Secretary-General welcomes the progress achieved so far in the efforts to uphold democratic principles and secure the restoration of political stability and security in the Kingdom," it said.

Ban encouraged "all Basotho leaders to comply with the Maseru Facilitation Declaration and work together in a spirit of compromise to ensure an environment conducive to peaceful and credible elections."

He also reaffirms the UN's continued commitment to support the efforts of the government and the people of Lesotho to consolidate peace in the kingdom.

The decision to hold early elections arose from decisions by a summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held earlier this year with a view to help return Lesotho political normalcy and stabilization of the security situation.

Lesotho has been in political turmoil since June when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane suspended Parliament to avoid a vote of no confidence that was being pushed by his coalition government partners.

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