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Lesotho: Political Parties Material

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0101 PP.LO
Held at: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
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Full title: Lesotho: Political Parties Material
Date(s): 1958-
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The majority of the material held here relates to the first two elections held under full adult suffrage in Lesotho. In 1965 the Basotho National Party (BNP) under the leadership of Leabua Jonathan won the first of these amidst accusations of interference on its behalf by the Catholic Church and the South African government. Independence followed in 1966, but when the opposition Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) appeared to have won the elections in 1970 Jonathan annulled them and suspended parliamentary government, remaining in power until deposed by the first of a series of military coups in 1986.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manifestos, journals, constitutions, programmes, letters, petitions, resolutions, interviews, press releases, pamphlets, statements, reports, election results, conference papers and histories, 1958 onwards, issued by the Basotho National Party, the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), the Basutoland Progressive Association Party, the Communist Party of Lesotho, the Lesotho Unity Party and the United Democratic Party (Lesotho). The substantial holdings of BCP material from this period include a number of conference papers originating from the Round Table Conference of Political Leaders which sought to resolve the political crisis which followed the 1970 poll.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mostly English, some Sotho

System of arrangement:

Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Finding aids:

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archival Information

Archival history:

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Created 07/05/2004 AIM25

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