MASERU — An MP who crossed the floor to the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) is now planning to contest the general election as an independent candidate after he lost the ruling party’s primary election.
Nkhetše Monyalotsa, who is the MP for Maputsoe constituency, dumped the All Basotho Convention (ABC) in 2009 and joined the LCD amid euphoric scenes in parliament.
Monyalotsa says he is bitter and disappointed that he was “cheated of victory” in the Maputsoe constituency primary election.
The LCD has since endorsed Manka Ramoabi as its candidate for the constituency.
“I feel cheated because nobody has paid attention to my complaints regarding the Maputsoe constituency primary elections,” Monyalotsa says.
“If only I had known this is the way this party (LCD) treats its members.”
“I wrote a letter outlining grievances of would-be delegates who were denied LCD3 and LCD4 forms at sub-branch and branch levels but nothing was ever done and the committee did not make any contact with me,” Monyalotsa said.
The LCD3 and LCD4 forms allow party members to vote during primary elections at sub-branch and branch level.
He says after the final leg of primary election on November 20, he discovered that his name did not feature on the list of candidates contesting at the constituency level.
“This simply implied that I lost the election at sub-branch level. But how could this be when people never received LCD3 and LCD4 forms?” Monyalotsa quips.
He alleges that LCD executive committee member, Khotso Matla, who is the editor of the party’s newspaper Mololi, called him and advised him to accept the election outcome.
“I’m disappointed by the way I’ve been treated and the manner in which the LCD treats its members.
“I do not recognise the (election) outcome at all. Until a fresh election whose preparation is above board is held, I will have to find other means to seek recourse.”
Monyalotsa says he will go the “independent route” because he believes he enjoys support from the people of Maputsoe.
“I will not drag the LCD to court like I did with the ABC. I’m a seasoned politician. Somehow I’ll find a way out.
I will have to contest the election as an independent candidate,” says Monyalotsa who was a member of the Basutoland Congress Party before he joined the ABC on the eve of the 2007 general election.
When the ABC tried to block his candidacy for the Maputsoe constituency Monyalotsa took his battle to the High Court which ruled in his favour.
He was elected MP under the ABC banner during the 2007 election but crossed the floor to the LCD two years later.
Meanwhile, this paper can reveal that ABC MP, Motumi Ralejoe, who joined the LCD last year, will not be contesting in the general election.
The Lithabaneng constituency MP contested the primaries and only made it to the sub-branch elections.
Ralejoe could not be reached for comment.
Only Thabang Nchai, the Mabote MP, who also crossed the floor from the ABC to the LCD last year, still stands a chance to represent the ruling party under the PR seat system.
On Tuesday Nchai said he was content with the decision to contest under the PR system instead of standing for the Khubetsoana constituency which was formerly known as Mabote.
Education Minister ’Mamphono Khaketla will represent Khubetsoana constituency in the election.
“It was the people’s decision to field ’M’e Khaketla at constituency level while I was fielded in the PR side. It doesn’t matter who appears where or represents what. I’ve accepted the way things have been handled,” Nchai said.
“PR results have not yet been endorsed. But as things stand now, I am the one who has been chosen for the Khubetsoana constituency PR seat.”
But Nchai’s chances of returning to parliament are not guaranteed.
According to LCD administrative secretary, Tšeliso Sekoere, being elected in the PR section is not an automatic qualification to enter parliament.
“Further screening will be done in the second round of elections to determine which candidate qualifies to make the final 40 PR seats list to be submitted to the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission),” Sekoere said.
Sekoere said candidates will be selected based on their familiarity with the party’s constitution, rules and regulations as well as the period one has been a member.
“There are other candidates who are still on probation in terms of the conditions I’ve mentioned. The constituencies will then decide which candidates are more qualified,” Sekoere said.
“The selection will also be gender-sensitive and take into consideration those with disabilities at the same focusing on candidates’ educational background.”