The role of the judiciary in the resolution of intra-party conflicts in Lesotho




Political parties, Lesotho, Inter-party conflicts, Courts of law, Conflict resolution mechanisms


Political parties play an integral role in modern democracies and are legitimate platforms of contestation for state power. Despite the vital role that political parties play in democratisation, they are often prone to internal disputes. Their internal processes, such as conferences, elections, decision-making and deployments, are often subject to contestation. Conflicts are inherent in political contestation in general and in political parties, in particular. Hence, political parties have several mechanisms for dispute resolution, one of which is the referral of disputes to the courts of law. The role of the courts in internal political party disputes is a double-edged sword. While a court provides an independent platform for resolving disputes, it lacks reconciliatory attributes. After court intervention, many political parties often break up into smaller parties or experience major defections. This phenomenon is more pronounced in Lesotho than elsewhere. Ever since the return to electoral democracy in 1993, the role of the courts in internal party disputes has increased phenomenally. However, instead of achieving cohesion and internal stability, political parties have experienced splits, exacerbated conflicts or significant defections after the referral of their internal disputes to the courts. 


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How to Cite

Rakolobe, M. and ’Nyane, H. (2023) “The role of the judiciary in the resolution of intra-party conflicts in Lesotho”, African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 23(2), pp. 1–21. doi: 10.17159/ajcr.v23i2.17639.