King prorogues parliament

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Letsie III

Letsie III

MASERU – King Letsie III prorogued parliament last week but no reasons were given for the move which observers say is quite unusual.

The house will resume business on February 6.

There is speculation in political circles that the move could be in preparation for the eventual dissolution of parliament.

The speculation has been gathering momentum over the past three weeks.

The Lesotho Times could however not confirm it.

A government gazette published on January 15, 2009 states that the King prorogued the legislature on the advice of the prime minister.

It reads: “I, King Letsie III, pursuant to Section 83(1) of the Constitution of Lesotho and acting with the advice of the Prime Minister proclaim that the Seventh Parliament of Lesotho is hereby prorogued with effect from the 15th day of January, 2009.”

No reasons were given for the move.

According to the Constitution, the King may prorogue parliament at any time when Lesotho is at war.

It is also done when the National Assembly has passed a vote of no confidence in the government and that the prime minister does not resign or advise dissolution within three days, the King may do so with the advice of the council of state.

It is also when the office of the prime minister is vacant and that the King considers that there is no prospect of his being able to find a person to fill the vacancy within a reasonable time.

The candidate who fills a vacancy left by the prime minister should be from the leader of a political party or a coalition of political parties that will command the support of a majority of the members of the national assembly.

Member of Parliament and leader of Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) Moeketse Malebo thinks that government wants to have a fresh thinking by doing everything afresh.

“Well if you think you need a fresh start you can do it,” he says.

By Mzimkhulu Sithetho

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