Jason Shao is a candidate for the 7 October elections in Lesotho as an independent. Shao has pledged to generate countless employment possibilities for Basotho citizens if he is elected to parliament in the October 7 parliamentary elections. Since 2006, Shao, a Chinese national, has been a naturalized citizen of Lesotho. The Maseru Metro reports that Shao, a local businessman, is a candidate for a new party named Basotho Pele. Basotho Pele is a development organization whose primary purpose is to affect community change.
A video of Shao campaigning in rural Lesotho has trended on TikTok and Twitter in recent weeks, drawing attention to the sight of a Chinese guy campaigning for elections in Africa. Shao has committed to increase crop and livestock production through scientific methods, citing hybrid seed development, irrigation schemes, and dry farming facilities, among others, as evidence. “Lesotho should establish its own enterprises that manufacture motor vehicles, replacement parts, and electrical equipment so that we do not have to import everything,” he stated, according to Maseru Metro. “We should also export locally manufactured goods.”
According to a July statement issued by the Lesotho election authorities, the electoral code of conduct aims to promote conditions for free, fair, and transparent elections, free political campaigning and open public debate, freedom from fear, coercion, intimidation, and violence, and to prevent character assassination and misinformation. After being sworn in as an MP in January 2021, Xiaomei Havard, a Chinese-born South African businesswoman and African National Congress (ANC) member from Gauteng, was subjected to intensive scrutiny.