Lesotho’s main opposition rejects early general poll

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Maseru, October 28 – Lesotho’s plans to hold an early election in 2015 are being rejected by the country’s parliamentary main opposition the Democratic Congress (DC).

The rejection is still reverberating within the legislature following the DC leader’s statements made in the Lower House subsequent to a signing of a Maseru Facilitation Declaration by various political parties, including the DC, in September 2014.

After an emergence of a political crisis brought by a fall-out within the three government partners, Lesotho decided to go for an early poll next year. The decision was penned down and signed by almost all the political parties at the facilitation of SADC Envoy led by South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

But a plan to hold an early poll is not going down well with the main opposition.

“This is one general election this country does not need. I repeat, this is one general election this country does not need,” DC leader and former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili told the legislature last week to an applause of the opposition members.

The leader of Democratic Congress, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili
The leader of Democratic Congress, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili

Although expressing no fear for an early vote, he said the incumbent government is shaky as it is running public affairs under a “majority of one” possibly in reference to his arch rival Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Thabane has come under consolidated criticism from the opposition since he took over as head of government after the May 2012 general poll that resulted in a rise of a coalition government of the three parties of All Basotho Convention, Lesotho Congress for Democracy and the Basotho National Party.

“My political party is not fearful of any holding of election in any way. But the issue is indeed whether Lesotho is in a state where it requires an election as a remedy to the problem facing us. I don’t think so. But we’re being forced in this election perhaps as an indication that we place our own interests ahead of those of the public,” Mosisili said.

This was in reference to Lesotho’s monarch’s speech from the throne during an opening of the second session of Lesotho’s eighth parliament on the 17th October, 2014 after it was prorogued in June this year.

However, Thabane is already ringing bells for support from the electorate whom he has called upon to stand ready for the upcoming general election.

Lesotho's Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane
Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane

Lesotho was set to go to the parliamentary poll in 2017 but that has since been reversed to remedy the political crisis.

In the 2012 national assembly election DC got 45 seats. However, it could attract any political party to form a combined government. As a result Thabanes’ All Basotho Convention came together with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Mothejoa Metsing Lesotho Congress for Democracy and the Basotho National Party led by Gender Minister, Chief Thesele Maseribane.

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