. . . ready to become loyal opposition
OUTGOING Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) has conceded defeat after last Saturday’s snap elections in which the party won only 30 parliamentary seats.
Lesotho has 80 electoral constituencies and there are a further 40 proportional representation (PR) seats, bringing the total number of National Assembly seats to 120.
The DC had contested in 55 constituencies after signing an election pact with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which contested in 25 and the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) which contested in one in a bid to retain power.
The three parties however, fell short of the 61 seat threshold required to form government after collectively bagging only 44 parliamentary seats in Saturday’s elections.
[beautifulquote align=”right” cite=””]The All Basotho Convention (ABC) led by Thomas Thabane has combined its 48 seats with those of the Alliance of Democrats (AD-nine seats), Basotho National Party (BNP-five seats) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL-one seat) which add up to 63 seats.[/beautifulquote]
DC spokesperson Serialong Qoo yesterday told the Lesotho Times the party had accepted the outcome of the polls, adding they were ready to become His Majesty’s loyal opposition in parliament.
“You will remember that there was a noise over our delay in signing the electoral pledge, with people suggesting that we were not going to accept election results if we were to lose,” Mr Qoo said.
“Contrary to what most people believed, we have accepted defeat and we are prepared to sit on the opposition side and become His Majesty’s loyal opposition.”
He said they would return to the country’s 80 constituencies to do spade work in preparation for the next elections in 2022, adding they congratulated party members who won and urged those who lost to appreciate that this was not the end of the road.
Mr Qoo said his party’s leadership was well aware that all the 55 who contested had done everything in their power to win.
He said they would join forces in opposition with the LCD and PFD, adding they were also ready to work together with others that were “excluded from the (incoming) coalition government”.
The other excluded parties are the Movement for Economic Change (six seats), the Basotho Congress Party, Marematlou Freedom Party and National Independent Party and Democratic Party of Lesotho which have one seat each.
“Our alliance with the LCD and PFD was not meant only for the elections but we are going to continue to work together in parliament.
“We are not going to become one party but rather partners in opposition and we will also work with other parties which the coalition government has excluded from their agreement,” he said.