Lesotho sets October 7 election date
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Lesotho says it will hold general elections on October 7, in the latest round of polling in the landlocked southern African country.
The date was contained in a notice dated July 19 and signed by the head of the country's electoral commission, Mpaiphele Maqutu, but published on Wednesday.
A mountainous kingdom of two million people entirely surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho has suffered repeated bouts of instability and army interference in politics.
The elections were announced after King Letsie III dissolved parliament, in line with procedures to prepare for new polls.
The outgoing parliament failed however to pass a law on electoral reform aimed at ending political volatlity.
The proposed changes would have prohibited lawmakers from switching party allegiance within the first three years of their tenure.
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At least 17 Democratic lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, were arrested at an abortion rights rally outside Conress in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, police said.
Lawmakers elect a prime minister to head government, and the premier usually comes from the party with the majority in 120-seat parliament.
The proposed reforms would have also made the king commander of the armed forces -- a move aimed at preventing political leaders from meddling in the security services.
Between 2012 and 2017, Lesotho held three elections that resulted in fractious coalitions and turbulence.
Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Letsie III, who has no formal power.