Lesotho Times

Mosisili appeals for congress unity


’Marafaele Mohloboli

PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has implored the congress parties to join hands to ensure a resounding victory to form a stable government that can last the distance after the 3 June 2017 national elections.

Dr Mosisili said this at a rally early this week in Kolonyama constituency in the Leribe district to drum up support for his party ahead of the 3 June elections.

The elections were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of last month’s successful parliamentary no confidence motion by the opposition bloc against the seven parties’ coalition government.

Dr Mosisili said history had shown that a united congress movement posted overwhelming electoral victories hence the decision to fight the forthcoming elections in an alliance with deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party.

He appealed to party supporters to put aside their misgivings about the electoral pact and rally behind the party which took precedence over individuals.

“We learnt that until 2012, the congress always won elections,” Dr Mosisili told the crowd of DC and LCD supporters.

“In 1993 as the Basotho Congress Party (BCP) we took all 65 constituencies and we fought when got to parliament until we left BCP and started the LCD.

“In 1998 we won 79 constituencies and only lost the Bobatsi constituency and from there in 2002 there was yet another defection which led to the deterioration of our numbers in parliament.”

He said in 2007 the numbers deteriorated again although the LCD still won the elections and this continued to 2012 where their poor showing forced them into a coalition government.

“We could not form a government as DC and LCD even though we still commanded the majority because we had just parted ways and our wounds were still bleeding. “This gave the nationalists a lee way hence they triumphed and took over government.

“Once beaten twice shy. Why should we allow them to win again like they did before?

“The only way that will make us win is to join forces. There are only two parties and there is no neutral party, it’s either you are congress or national.”

In terms of the electoral pact, the DC will contest in 54 constituencies and the LCD in 25.

“This is a clear indication of how committed we are to ensure that the congress becomes government.”

“LCD had every right to contest in all the 80 constituencies but for the sake of congress to govern, they accepted to contest in only 25.

“I therefore appeal to all of you to heed to this strategy so that we win these elections.

“If we can’t remember how much we suffered at the hands of the nationals when they suspended the constitution, I would like to remind you that one philosopher says “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and another one says “we study history because the present is deeply rooted in the past, so let’s go out in great numbers and vote for the congress,” Dr Mosisili said.

He after 50 years of independence, the electorate could not afford to repeat previous mistakes, adding the future of democracy lay in the congress parties.

“Vote for life so that you and your ancestors may live happily. To vote for the nationals is to vote for death.”

Dr Mosisli also said that it was not necessary for His Majesty to consult the State Council before dissolving parliament as Section 83 (4) (b) of the Constitution provides that the King may dissolve the House “with the advice of the Prime Minister and nothing binds the state council to be consulted”.

He said they “were in a steady government with political allies until (former DC deputy leader Monyane) Moleleki rebelled and joined forces with the nationals and passed a vote of no confidence against me”.

He said he did not even wait for the stipulated three days before advising His Majesty to dissolve parliament.

“Immediately when we left parliament, I ran to the palace to advise the King to dissolve parliament.

“You should have seen me race along Kingsway with my letter and legal instruments in hand.

“They thought I was trying to threaten them; they lied to themselves by believing that His Majesty would not heed my advice.”

Dr Mosisili said it was surprising that the same opposition who once embarked on a “hands off our king” protest march were the ones who cited him in court papers.

“They also wanted the government to be shut down and be barred from using any finances.  They were trying to put the government in a critical state, how would the government operate without money” Dr Mosisili asked.

Dr Mosisili’s remarks were in apparent reference to two court applications, one of them by prominent lawyer, Advocate Haae Phoofolo King’s Counsel (KC) who last month filed a constitutional application seeking to stay the decision by His Majesty to dissolve parliament and call for the 3 June 2017 elections.

BNP spokesperson, Machesetsa Mofomobe and political activist, Mohato Seleke also filed a separate constitutional application seeking to interdict Finance Minister, Tlohang Sekhamane from withdrawing funds from the main bank account of the government starting on 31 March 2017.

However, they lost the cases and Dr Mosisili said they were “still rolling on the ground” after the losses.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

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