MAPUTSOE – Supporters of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Democratic Congress (DC) say they are now “unstoppable” after forging a pact to join forces in the 3 June 2017 parliamentary election.
The supporters, who spoke to the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of a joint rally held in Maputsoe earlier this week, also said their unity made them confident of a return to the era of political stability akin to 1993 when the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) was elected into power.
The DC, LCD and Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) inked an electoral pact to field one candidate for each of the country’s 80 constituencies to avoid vote splitting.
The DC will contest in 54 constituencies while the LCD was allocated 25. The three parties will also vote for PFD deputy leader, Thabang Kholumo, in his Qalo stronghold in Butha-Buthe.
Malisemelo Makintane, from Mahobong constituency, said LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing was not given enough time to “prove himself” in the successive governments he has been deputy prime minister because they failed to last their five-year terms.
The LCD formed a coalition government with the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho National Party after the 26 May 2012 general election had resulted in a hung parliament.
However, the coalition government collapsed in 2014 after Mr Metsing accused then premier and ABC leader Thomas Thabane of not consulting him on key governance decisions.
The LCD was also one of the seven parties that cobbled together a governing coalition after the 28 February 2015 general election also resulted in a hung parliament.
The other parties in the coalition are the DC, PFD, Marematlou Freedom Party, Basotho Congress Party, National Independent Party and Lesotho People’s Congress.
However, the seven-party coalition administration succumbed to a no-confidence vote in parliament engineered by four opposition parties on 1 March 2017, prompting the calling of an election by King Letsie III on 3 June 2017.
“In my constituency, Ntate Metsing was able to initiate community development projects over the years,” Ms Makintane said.
“The only challenge that needs to be addressed is the lack of roads which I believe he will address together with Ntate Mosisili after winning the election and forming government again.”
She added: “I believe those two gentlemen can serve us in a peaceful way and bring back the stability we saw in 1993 when a congress party was solely governing this country.”
Echoing the sentiment, Maitumeleng Rachele said she had long yearned for unity among congress parties to ensure electoral competitiveness.
“After 3 June, we will be talking about something new and interesting concerning the congress parties. Our unity is a recipe for victory in the upcoming election,” she said.
“As congress supporters, we see victory for our parties as spelling salvation for this country. Once they return to power, I know they can come up with strategies to better our lives.”
For his part, Tale Tsotetsi, also from Mahobong constituency, said she supported congress parties because of their “people first” ideology.
“We support the congress parties because we know they can return the favour by serving us once elected into government,” Mr Tsotetsi said.
“I must confess that I have always dreamed of unity among congress parties. And now that it has been achieved, the political situation in Lesotho can return to normalcy.”