Congress parties’ coalition on the cards


As blueprint to lead government of a new alliance emerges


MASERU – The Democratic Congress (DC) is seemingly on a crusade to form and lead a new coalition government with the backing of other congress leaning political parties represented in the National Assembly.

This sudden quest, according to Public Eye findings, follows Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s loss of the leadership of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to Nkaku Kabi – which has led to incessant calls from the ABC loyalists for Majoro to resign as head of the government to which the DC is a partner.

DC leader Mathibeli Mokhothu is the deputy prime minister in the current coalition government.

Sources Public Eye spoke to indicate that the DC would be more comfortable with Majoro’s leadership of the ABC as opposed to the newly-elected Kabi. With pressure now mounting to eject him from Qhobosheaneng, DC intents to seize the opportunity to head a new coalition government.

“Should the talks with other congress oriented parties bear fruit to form a new coalition government, we will probably become the head of a new, stable government commanding a majority of 71 seats in the National Assembly,” our sources said.

The DC is further said to be expecting eight Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ABC to defect and take up its membership. These ABC MPs are aligned with Prime Minister Majoro’s faction, according to reports. This move would strengthen the DC in the National Assembly from its current 30 to 38 seats, effectively giving the party command of a majority of seats.

According to sources, the outline of the proposed alliance following the defection of the ABC MPs will put the DC at 38 seats, to be joined by the Alliance of Democrats (AD) with 13, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) with 11, Movement for Economic Change 6 and the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) 3 to make a total of 71 seats. However, the PFD leader, Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, dismissed any involvement of his party in the alleged new alliance.

Rakuoane said it’s only if it becomes a fact that the current coalition has collapsed that there can be talk of formation of another. “I have not been made aware of any intention to put together a new coalition. We won’t want to deliberately rock the boat, but I am not saying other people wouldn’t be thinking of it,” Rakuoane continued.

“The party planned the February 19 to 20 special conference with the intention of suspending some of the party constitution’s clauses to enable these MPs who will have crossed the floor in the National Assembly to join the DC to contest in the upcoming polls under the DC banner,” claimed the sources.

These suspended clauses prohibited newly joined members to contest for general elections without completing the probationary period of 36 months.

The sources further claim that with the help of some new DC members who were influential while in the AD, the DC has managed to convince Professor Ntoi Rapapa to lead the AD into this new coalition government.

And the DC is optimistic that Rapapa will lead the AD although there’s strong opposition from the AD Secretary General, Mahali Phamotse, who believes that party leader, Monyane Moleleki, should lead the AD into a new coalition “so that he qualifies for the former deputy prime minister’s benefits.”

Phamotse told this paper, however, that she is not aware of plans for her party to join any DC-led coalition to form a new government. She said even if this could be true, it would possibly be a conversation at the leaders’ level, or a discussion by the membership at grassroots level.

MEC leader, Selibe Mochoboroane could also not be drawn into discussing a new coalition “because no such invitation has been sent our way…and even if there are other congress-leaning parties that may have been invited I would know. So, we can’t discuss something that does not exist.”

The DC strongly believes and insists on its probable new coalition partners to consider the change of Moleleki and the LCD leader, Mothetjoa Metsing and have their respective parties led into the new government by their deputies.

“The AD leader seems to be uncomfortable with his deputy, he has confidence in the party Secretary General (Mahali Phamotse) to succeed him because of her commitment and selflessness to the party, especially because she’s a woman.

“It has always been his desire to have a woman prime minister or deputy prime minister in the country and he believes that she’s more than capable to take over the task successfully to the benefit of Lesotho,” information in possession of this paper further suggests.

The DC believes that Moleleki should retire from politics and make way for new leadership in the AD, which could pave way for a long lasting relationship between the two as ‘birds of the same feather’.

On the other hand, the DC favours LCD deputy leader, Tšeliso Mokhosi, to lead the LCD into the new coalition government. Meanwhile, last weekend the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party held a rally in the Qeme constituency at Ha Ts’iame where leaders of other political parties graced the gathering.

These include Basotho Patriotic Party (DPP) leader Tefo Mapesela, Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader Monyane Moleleki, Democratic Party of Lesotho (DPL) leader Limpho Tau, and Truth and Reconciliation Unity (TRU) leader Pitso Maisa.

The line-up, watchers say, shows political alignments for potential a coalition government in the near future. Since 2012 Lesotho has been governed by coalition partnerships and political parties know there is a slim chance of a traditional winner-takes-all type of cabinet where one political party governs.


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