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DC ‘boycotts’ election pledge

by Lesotho Times
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Pascalinah Kabi

THE Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) has expressed concern over the Democratic Congress’ (DC) failure to join 25 other political parties in appending its signature to a pledge to accept the outcome of the 3 June elections.

CCL secretary general, Khosi Makubakube said they were worried that the no-show by the main party in the outgoing seven parties’ coalition government could mean the party would not accept the results in the event of defeat.

DC spokesperson and Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Serialong Qoo subsequently told the Lesotho Times that his party was ready to sign the pledge and suggested yesterday’s no show could have been caused by a communication break-down between his party and the CCL.

Yesterday, 25 political parties including Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) signed the pledge to respect the outcome of the polls.

The signing ceremony was conducted at the Independent Election (IEC) offices in Maseru.

The polls were announced by King Letsie III after the opposition’s successful no confidence vote against the Pakalitha Mosisili-led government on 1 March.

Dr Mosisili is also leader of the DC.

The signatories pledged among other things “to honour the constitution and laws of Lesotho, to observe the electoral code of conduct, to honour the institutions of governance of Lesotho and to uphold peace and harmony during the campaigns”.

They also pledged “to accept the outcome of the 3 June 2017 elections when declared free and fair by duly authorised independent observers”.

It was however, the absence of the DC which riled the CCL secretary general Khosi Makubakube who further stated that “the party did not even apologise for not showing up”.

Mr Makubakube said they were seriously concerned that a senior political party like DC would choose not to participate in a noble cause seeking to ensure that the parties committed themselves to accept the election results.

“Who wouldn’t want to be part of this gesture and being a party from government side, it leaves a serious concern as to whether the government will accept election results should they not favour them,” Mr Makubakube said, adding that the LCD had however signed the pledge.

Meanwhile, Mr Qoo said there was no way the DC would have snubbed the event if it had received the invitation from CCL, adding he represented the party during last week’s prayer session organised by the same body.

“Who is sure that the invitation was delivered at the DC offices and was received,” Mr Qoo asked.

He said if indeed the invitation had been delivered at the DC offices, then it could have been missed as the executive committee members were in their respective constituencies preparing for elections.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t care about this but maybe it was delivered at the time we are all scattered in different constituencies but this was not done in bad faith.

“Once we are formally informed about this, DC will sign the electoral pledge because there is no way DC will not accept election results,” Mr Qoo said.

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