Profile: Tšoeu Petlane

Tšoeu Petlane is currently a Commissioner with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) overseeing operational areas of IEC’s work: Data and Information Technology, Media and Communications (including Public Relations), Civic and Voter Education, Conflict Management and Documentation Centre. He is a political Scientist with a Master of Arts degree from Carleton University (Ottawa) and has a 33-year career in governance and administration, diplomacy, academia and civil society (1990-2023). He served as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, with focus on Comparative Politics, International Relations and Africa’s Multilateral Institutions; and Social Science Research Methods including elections, Africa’s international relations and institutions (viz, SACD/RECs, AU and APRM), also at the National University of Lesotho, Institute of Southern African Studies, Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the University of the Witwatersrand (South African Institute of International Affairs).
His work includes one-year appointment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Africa and Political Affairs desk, publishing articles in academic journals, co-edited books on elections in Lesotho and Southern Africa, the African Peer Review Mechanism and governance and democratic consolidation since 1992. This extends to supervising the Lesotho components of three Africa-wide comparative studies of governance, viz. two UNECA Good Governance surveys (1995 and 2003) and the APRM Country Self-Assessment exercise (2007-8).
His works entails senior institutional management of national, multi-cultural and international institutions, Head of Department for Development Studies at NUL, Deputy Programme Head for APRM and Governance at the SA Institute of International Affairs, Directorship of Lesotho’s leading governance and human rights NGO, the Transformation Resource Centre (until 2016), Executive Secretary for the National Dialogue Planning Committee, participation in the APRM Country Review Mission for Uganda as a Consultant under the themes of Economic Governance and Management, and Democracy and Political Governance. His APRM and governance (mainly elections and democratic development) work has covered 13 African countries (7 of them in Southern Africa), co-edited volume analysing Lesotho’s 1993 General Election (with Roger Southall, titled Demilitarisation and Democratisation (Africa Institute, 1995) and compilation of best practices from the first 12 APRM reviews titled African Solutions (with Steven Gruzd (Jacana/SAIIA, 2011)).
He has also been a regular commentator on Lesotho’s electoral politics, and has observed national and local elections in three SADC countries and coordinated Lesotho’s APRM Research Team.