THE Thomas Thabane-led government collapsed on Monday. This after all three of the four parties in the governing coalition including Mr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) informed the speaker of parliament, Sephiri Motanyane, of their withdrawal from the coalition.
In accepting the collapse of the government, Mr Motanyane then adjourned parliament until 22 May 2020 to facilitate processes towards the transfer of power to a new coalition government whose main partners will be Thabane’s own ABC party and the opposition Democratic Congress (DC).
Until then, Mr Motanyane said Mr Thabane will remain in charge until the transition to a new leader is completed. The ABC and the DC had already agreed on current Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro taking over from Mr Thabane. The two parties also agreed that Dr Majoro will be deputised by DC leader Mathibeli Mokhothu.
The outgoing governing coalition comprises of the ABC, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki’s Alliance of Democrats (AD), outgoing Communications, Science and Technology Minister Thesele Maseribane’s Basotho National Party (BNP) and outgoing Labour and Employment Minister Keketso Rantšo’s Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL). Mr Moleleki’s party is the only one which had not notified the speaker of its intention to withdraw from the coalition. It later informed Mr Motanyane of its intention to withdraw from the coalition after realising that it was on its own with Mr Thaabne having conceded defeat.
Although the deal for a new coalition is primarily between the ABC and the DC, it is also supported by several smaller parties including the BNP and RCL. Others who have endorsed the deal are the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Movement for Economic Change (MEC), National Independent Party (NIP), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), Basotho Congress Party (BCP) and Democratic Party of Lesotho (DPL).
This means that there will be at least 10 parties in the proposed coalition.
Mr Thabane was left with no choice but to endorse the overthrow of his government by his own party.
Only last Thursday, the veteran leader who has been under immense pressure from his own party to step down, spoke of his determination to cling to power until 31 July 2020. He had said the earliest he would quit was 12 June 2020, providing the processes to facilitate his dignified exit had been completed.