Anger over parly closure

. . . MPs fight bid to block no-confidence motion

By Billy Ntaote

MASERU –– Parliament was yesterday adjourned indefinitely — a move which opposition legislators criticised as a strategy to dodge a proposed no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who is leader of the House, announced the adjournment, but would not say when it would re-open.

The Democratic Congress MP for the Hlohloeng constituency, Ntlhoi Motsamai, who is also a former speaker of parliament, was the first to question the adjournment “at this time of the year”.
“The tradition is for parliament to be suspended for the winter vacation, but such an adjournment is not done without setting a specific date to resume sittings,” Motsamai argued, insisting the suspension was improper.
“We never adjourn sine die at this time of the year and it is not done without giving a date when parliament will resume,” she continued.

But Metsing stuck to his guns, saying “adjourning the House sine die is nothing new”.
However, the Makhaleng constituency MP, Mootsi Lehata reiterated Motsamai’s concerns over the indefinite adjournment.
“Some people have been alleging that the government has been thinking about proroguing parliament.
“And now that it has failed to be prorogued, we see an adjournment of this nature without any dates for the reopening,” Lehata said.

Also concerned was the DC’s Malingoaneng constituency MP, Serialong Qoo, who said he did not agree with the closure “when there is still a pending motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister”.
“I can’t agree with this adjournment because we still had serious business we wanted parliament to address,” Qoo said.
“Again, we have just learnt that our motion of no-confidence has spilled into the courts when we have not even heard if it would be brought before parliament for voting.”

However, Metsing ended up pleading with the MPs not to press him on the adjournment, adding there would be a lot of business the legislators are going to be doing in their respective parliamentary portfolio committees during the suspension.

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