THE Nqosa Mahao-led Basotho Action Party (BAP) will hold its elective conference on 25 and 26 February 2022.
This will be the party’s first elective conference since it’s formation in April 2021. The party was formed after Professor Mahao, who was then deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), jumped ship after falling out with his erstwhile key allies in the ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC). He was joined by 10 ABC MPs and other lower level members of the ruling party.
Since then, he has led the party on an interim basis while preparations for an elective conference to choose substantive leaders who will sit in the BAP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
In an interview this week, interim party spokesperson and Berea legislator Motlatsi Maqelepo, said, all positions including that of party leader are up for grabs. Mr Maqelepo said constituency committee branches should ensure that their records are in order to enable a fair and transparent process of choosing delegates who will vote on their behalf at the conference.
He said all lists of delegates for the conference should be submitted to the head office on or before 7 February 2022.
“Party members have up to 31 January 2022 to submit their recommendations for their preferred candidates to contest for the top six positions of leader, deputy leader, chairperson, secretary general, deputy secretary general and treasurer,” Mr Maqelepo said this week.
“The number of delegates who will participate in the voting will vary from constituency to constituency depending on the size of each constituency. However, for every 300 members, there will be one delegate representing them in the voting process.
“Only members in good standing will be allowed to vote. These should be people who became members on or before 31 January 2022,” Mr Maqelepo added.
On his part, interim secretary general, Nto Moakhi, said they were yet to receive nominations for any of the posts.
Although all posts are officially up for grabs, some party officials who spoke to the Lesotho Times this week said that Prof Mahao was unlikely to be challenged for the leadership.
However, the deputy leader’s post is likely to be a two-men contest between former cabinet ministers, Maqelepo and Lebohang Thotanyana.
In an interview this week, Mr Thotanyana said he had been approached by some party members to contest the deputy leader or the secretary general’s posts.
He said he was yet to decide which post he would contest, adding, “I am ready to take up whatever position I am nominated for”.
Mr Moakhi is expected to lock horns with former Communications, Science and Technology principal secretary, Tankiso Phapano, for the secretary general’s post.
Interim chairperson Fako Moshoeshoe is likely to be challenged by one Tello Kibane, while former Police and Public Safety Minister ‘Mamoipone Senauoane is likely to be unchallenged for the treasurer’s post.
Contacted for comment, Messrs Phapano and Moshoeshoe said although there were calls from fellow party members to contest, everything will be finalised in the nominations list.