Maseru Observer alleges that the ruling LCD party in Lesotho manipulated the two-tier, two-vote MMP system in last Sunday’s election, setting up a shell party in the list compensation tier to increase its overall seat total dramatically. That is, by running a separate but dependent party slate that had no candidates win (or run) in the single-seat districts, it was able to win PR seats that otherwise would have gone to opposition parties. (The main opposition party apparently did something similar.)
This potential for manipulation of MMP has been recognized in the literature on Germany for as long as I have been reading electoral-system literature. However, I am not aware of a case where it had been practiced (at least on any significant scale) until an Albanian election a few years ago.
I have several readers who know a lot about MMP and/or are fans of the system. How would you prevent this sort of manipulation? One obvious way is by having a single vote, rather than separate SSD and list votes. However, that has disadvantages of its own.
(Please note that I have not independently verified Maseru Observer’s claims.)