The National Assembly of Lesotho is composed of one-hundred and twenty elected members. Eighty members are directly elected from constituencies and the other forty are elected through proportional representation. There is a Speaker who is elected by members of the National Assembly.
No member of the National Assembly can participate in its deliberations without first taking the Oath of Allegiance. Members making their maiden speeches, which are expected to be short and not controversial, are not interrupted and are generally given an enthusiastic applause by drumming the chambers’ tables vigorously.
The Speaker’s chair, overlooks the entire Assembly. The seating plan is U-shaped. The government side sits on the right of the Speaker with the Prime Minister and Cabinet occupying the front-benches while the other members of the ruling party occupy the back-benches of the same side. This seating plan is mirrored by the main opposition party with its leader and shadow cabinet on the left of the Speaker.
Parliament is housed in a colonial building which is about one hundred years old constructed early in the last century.
When a constituency-elected member of the National Assembly vacates a seat, arrangements are made to have a by-election. When a member elected on the basis of proportional representation vacates a seat, the Speaker of the National Assembly has power to appoint the next person on the Party List to effect a replacement.