Parliament reopened today, 17 October, as expected, following its nine-month suspension on 10 June this year by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
King Letsie III gave the keynote address, urging the politicians to put the nation’s interests ahead of personal agendas.
South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, attended the reopening.
Mr Ramaphosa was appointed Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator in Lesotho’s current political crisis, and this was his fourth visit to the troubled kingdom since assuming the role last month.
Lesotho’s political leaders signed the Ramaphosa-brokered Maseru Facilitation Declaration on 2 October 2014, for parliament to open on 17 October and dissolve early December, with elections taking place in February 2015.
The country had to seek SADC intervention following the collapse of the coalition government comprising Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP).
Among the reasons for the fallout among the coalition partners, who formed government after the 26 May 2012 general election had resulted in a hung parliament, was Dr Thabane’s decision to suspend parliament without first consulting his government partners, namely LCD leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Senior Minister and BNP leader Thesele ‘Maseribane.