THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Democratic Congress (DC) have dismissed as “cheap propaganda” reports that the two parties were intending to merge into a single party after the 3 June general elections.
DC spokesperson, Serialong Qoo yesterday told the Lesotho Times that the reports were part of many falsehoods doing the rounds during the electioneering period “which should not be entertained by anybody in their right state of mind”.
Mr Qoo said the “lies” were fabricated by their political opponents who felt threatened by the election pact which the two congress parties as well as the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) had agreed on ahead of the elections.
Under the agreement, the DC will only field candidates in 54 out of the 80 electoral constituencies nationwide, while the LCD will have 25 candidates and PFD, one candidate.
Social media has been abuzz this week with reports claiming the two parties had agreed to merge under the leadership of LCD leader and current Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing.
The reports which were posted on various social media platforms under the title The secret has been revealed stated, among other things that “Pakalitha Mosisili is aiming to step-down immediately after the general elections and hand over the reins of power to Methetjoa Metsing and the deal will see Mathibeli Mokhothu becoming Metsing’s deputy”.
“This will happen if Mosisili and Metsing have attained enough seats in parliament to form government, but if they fail, then the plan is also to leave Metsing as the leader of the new political party (UCM) which they are going to register after the general elections and abandon these two (LCD and DC).”
The unattributed reports also said Mr Metsing was holding secret meetings with some of the DC candidates to win their support and he was working closely with alleged faction within the DC.
However, Mr Qoo dismissed the reports as “lies and these lies are not going to work because come 4 June we will emerge as the ruling government”.
“The truth is that the opposition parties are not happy about the coming together of the congress parties heading into the elections, so they will try anything to discredit the congress parties.”
For his part, LCD candidate for Teyateyaneng No. 24 constituency, Lebohang Thotanyana said the electoral pact was only meant to help the two parties win the elections and should not be seen as a precursor to a merger.
He said the two parties would continue to operate as separate political parties after the elections.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. It is complete lies. We have agreed to vote together during the elections in order to improve our chances of winning elections and that is as far as the agreement goes,” Mr Thotanyana told the Lesotho Times.
Asked where the reports could have emanated from, Mr Thotanyana who is also Mining Minister, echoed Mr Qoo’s sentiments that this could be the work of detractors.
“This propaganda is meant to confuse DC followers into believing their party is being swallowed up by LCD, which is not true,” he said.