The battlefield is the Democratic Congress (DC), a political party whose leader is the Prime Minister (PM) of a seven-political-party coalition government of Lesotho. Wrestling is the PM, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili and DC’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The main weapon used among the battling factions is the constitution of the party.
It started with a vote of confidence march to Mosisili, where his Deputy in the DC’s NEC, Monyane Moleleki didn’t attend, instead holding a simultaneous rally at his constituency, Machache condemning Mosisili led government of corruption.
A week ago, DC NEC announced withdrawal from the coalition government arguing, among others, that the government does not operate in line with their political party’s values. In response Mosisili called a special conference set for 2nd to 4th December, 2016, to discipline the NEC.
This week DC’s NEC invited Mosisili to an urgent meeting on 17th November, 2016, ordering him to make appearance for disciplinary hearing for not respecting the NEC’s decision to withdraw from the coalition government and for calling a special without following a due procedure.
The NEC yesterday’s meeting suspended the PM and today he issued a statement accusing ten (10) members of the NEC including his Deputy Moleleki, and Secretary Lincoln General Ralechate ‘Mokose of being unruly and rising against him.
At a press conference following that of some DC’s members of parliament where they denounced the NEC’s decision and dismissed allegations that some of them have joint the ten ‘unruly’ NEC members, Mosisili issued a statement dismissing his suspension from the party as, according to the constitution of DC, he is ‘Extricable from the committee’.
Mosisili argues that the NEC has no powers to suspend him and according to DC’s constitution, the party leader is not responsible to the NEC, arguing that the only body with supreme powers over the leader in their political party is the national conference .
“Section 5.3.1 (h) of the Constitution gives the leader powers to suspend any member of NEC from the committee”, he said adding that there is no section in the party’s constitution that gives similar powers to the committee and instead it is only the national conference that has such powers through a vote of confidence to the leader.
Mosisili has also dismissed withdrawal of DC from the coalition government, and according to him the NEC does not have powers to do so as the coalition agreement was signed by political party leaders and not their NECs’.
He announced his intention to recommend some new ministers to replace those who have resigned from the government.
In his attempt to address on-going insubordination within DC, Mosisili announced that he has issued some letters to the ten NEC members asking them to show cause why he cannot suspend them from the party.
He has reaffirmed the holding of a special conference of the party in accordance with its constitution to seek intervention and discipline the ten NEC members.