The final results of Lesotho's general elections revealed no outright winner as the ruling party narrowly edged out its nearest rivals, data on the website of country's electoral commission showed on Wednesday.
Incumbent prime minister Thomas Thabane's All Basotho Congress party won 40 constituencies in the weekend poll, just three more than the Democratic Congress (DC,) as the close race tested the durability of a South Africa-brokered truce following an attempted coup by the army last August.
The DC's 37 seats, along with the remaining three won by the opposition, versus the ABC's total, are not enough for either party to meet the 60 plus 1 requirement for forming an independent government in the southern African nation.
The poll on Saturday was brought forward by nearly two years after Thabane briefly fled to South Africa in August when soldiers occupied police headquarters and encircled his palace. Thabane accused his deputy Mothetjoa Metsing, a member of the LCD party, of working with the army to oust him, an allegation Metsing and the military dismissed.
The attempted coup triggered concerns of political violence, leading to a Southern African Development Community intervention headed by South Africa's deputy president.
Apart from textile exports and a slice of regional customs receipts, the state of 2 million people's other big earner is water piped to South Africa, making it of strategic importance to Pretoria.