Mountain kingdom of Lesotho holds early election after collapse of coalition government

The southern African nation of Lesotho is holding an early election aimed at overcoming tension among political factions that has led to violence among security forces since last year.

Voting was proceeding smoothly on Saturday in the mountain kingdom, one of the few countries on the continent to have experienced coalition rule. Analysts say there is a possibility that no party will win a majority, meaning the country could end up with another coalition government.

Last year, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane suspended parliament to avoid a vote of no-confidence after his coalition government splintered. He fled to South Africa, alleging he was the target of a coup attempt, and returned under the protection of South African forces.

The parliament has 120 seats and the country has 1.2 million registered voters.