Court to hear LPC suspension challenge 

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Tefo Tefo

The High Court will today hear a case in which the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) wants its suspension lifted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The electoral body suspended the LPC from its activities on 7 April this year because of the party’s infighting.

The IEC had approached the High Court and obtained an interim order allowing it to suspend the party. The Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) was also suspended due to the same reason.

The LPC was, however, quick to approach the court on 13 April to challenge the suspension.

On Monday this week, Attorney Qhalehang Letsika pressed for the case to be heard this week because the IEC had approached the court on an urgent basis.

He also told the High Court that the case had to be decided speedily because reasons for suspension given by IEC Director of Elections, Lethusang Ntsike, were not justified.

“It has been the practice that if a party has two factions, one person is identified from one faction and another from a different faction, to represent the party in IEC activities.

“Now to bar a political party from participating in IEC activities where all parties participate is the same as making that party die a natural death,” he said.

Attorney Letsika further said the IEC’s decision to rush to court for the interim order was a clear indication of abuse of process.

“The court process here has been abused. We filed our answering papers on 13 April but up to now, there are no replying papers from the applicants and yet they say this matter is urgent,” he said.

Presiding judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, then said the case would be heard today.

“The heads of argument should be filed by 4:30pm on Tuesday and the matter will be heard on Thursday, 28th April,” the judge said.

Both the LPC and MFP are part of the seven-party government. The other parties are the Democratic Congress, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Popular Front for Democracy, Basotho Congress Party, and National Independent Party.

The coalition came to power after the February 2015 snap elections.

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