Lesotho gained independence from the United Kingdom in October 1966. Lesotho has had dynamic – often hostile – relations with South Africa through the years especially in the 1980s. For instance a South African sponsored coup with the Royal Lesotho Defence Force in 1986 led to General Lekhanya becoming head of state – resulting in military rule until 1993. Democracy was restored in the 1993 election after a victory by the Basotho Congress Party. The Party split in 1997 and many members of parliament followed the prime minister to the Lesotho Congress for Democracy which won the last elections in 2002. Lesotho is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with King Letsie III as head of state (although with no executive power) and Prime Minister Mosisili currently in power.
The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) falls under the Minister of Home Affairs and Public Safety and consists of a national office under the Commissioner of Police, with regional districts headed by Assistant Commissioners. The LMPS reportedly is undergoing restructuring and is developing a strategic plan to improve performance and tackle corruption within the service.
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