Labour and Employment minister Keketso Rantšo was unanimously elected leader of the newly formed Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) during the party’s elective conference held in Maseru on Sunday.
The position of deputy leader went to Public Service minister Motloheloa Phooko, while ‘Mamulula Ntabe and Motšelisi Tuoane were voted secretary general and deputy secretary general, respectively.
Ithuteng Monaheng took the treasurer’s position, with Moshe Kopanye and Rorisang Mokoena getting the spokesperson and assistant spokesperson posts, respectively.
Ms Rantšo was suspended as Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) secretary general early this year after constant clashes with party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing. Among others, Mr Metsing accused Ms Ms Rantšo of not doing enough for the growth of the party.
The suspension led to speculation that she would form a new party alongside other disgruntled LCD members, among them Dr Phooko.
Until his sensational departure from the LCD last week, Dr Phooko was the party’s deputy leader, but also had a bitter fallout with Mr Metsing, prompting his move to be part of the RCL project. Dr Phooko told the Lesotho Times last week that he had decided to leave the LCD because Mr Metsing did not accord him the respect he felt he deserved as his deputy.
On the other hand, Ms Ntabe and Ms Tuoane were LCD Members of Parliament in the 8th Parliament, which was dissolved early this month to pave the way for an early election on 28 February 2015.
Meanwhile, the LCD has since welcomed the departure of “troublemakers” and believes it would be much stronger without them going into next year’s poll.
Basotho hold a national election two years earlier than originally expected after the coalition government, comprising the LCD, All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho National Party (BNP) failed to work together due to sharp differences between Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Mr Metsing.
Mr Metsing accused the ABC leader of not consulting him and BNP leader Thesele ‘Maseribane when making important decisions in violation of an agreement upon which the coalition government was founded at its formation for a five-year term in June 2012.