Lesotho’s National Assembly Speaker Sephiri Motanyane believes collective responsibility is a solid foundation of a functioning coalition government.
In his address today at the national dialogue organized by Lesotho Smart Partnership Hub, Motanyane said such responsibility should be a guiding tool for proper functioning of a coalition system that brings together different parties to govern.
“A coalition of parties result in a formation of a legal entity which is government. In coalition, ministers are collectively responsible,” warned Motanyane.
Formation of a coalition government, he said, is preceded by negotiations between the parties intending to establish a government after it had become obvious there was no outright winner. Party leadership, he added, sign an agreement that becomes a statement of purpose “committing each individual political party to cooperation and consultation while in power.”
A key feature of that agreement signed ahead of assuming office, he explained, is trust that allows each partner to commit oneself to the policies laid down from parties manifestos.
“Trust within the coalition government is only possible when there is honesty and a spirit of good faith without any hidden agendas carried by individual partner,” he told delegates at the dialogue, noting that parties contracting still maintain their individualism.
At the same meeting, the Transformation Resource Centre’s Social Justice Programmes Coordinator Mabusetsa Lenka explained that democracy requires public participation, rule of law and exleence in performance.
He said a s a result of a lack of engagement in a long road of democracy, Lesotho faced a thread of challenges including poverty and unemployment, signifying a need for measures to consolidate a democratic rule.
“There is consolidation of democracy when there is service delivery without poverty and unemployment. Democracy is consolidated when the government accommodates the opposition and also when the opposition compromises,” suggested Lenka.
The theme of the dialogue is Stable Democratic Dispensation and Sustainable Coalition Government;, the Smart Partnership Way. It has brought together legislators, media, civil society groups, government officials, academia and the private sector.
The conference was officially opened by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Pitso Maisa who remarked the meeting was an initiative to ensure peace thrived in Lesotho.