Expert jets in to chart Coalition Agreement course

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(in the pic - King Letsie iii addressing Parliament). SADC Facilitator and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa attending the reconvening of the Kingdom of Lesotho's Parliament on the by His Majesty, King Letsie III. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS. 17/10/2014
(in the pic – King Letsie iii addressing Parliament). SADC Facilitator and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa attending the reconvening of the Kingdom of Lesotho’s Parliament on the by His Majesty, King Letsie III. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS. 17/10/2014

Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

A GERMAN political consultant, Hans Martin Sieg, is in the country on a week-long visit to formulate an implementation plan for the Coalition Agreement for the parties that make up government.

Dr Sieg, who is Executive Director at the Institute for European Policies and Reforms in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived on Monday and was welcomed by Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Tlohang Sekhamane.

According to a media statement released by the ministry, Dr Sieg’s arrival came about following a request by the Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili-led seven-member coalition government to the European Union delegation in Lesotho.

Read the statement: “The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Honourable Mr Tlohang Sekhamane, welcomed Dr Hans Martin Sieg, an expert who has been appointed to assist in the development of an implementation plan for the Coalition Agreement. His appointment is a follow-up, on the request of the Coalition Government of Lesotho to the European Union Delegation in Lesotho.”

Since his arrival, Dr Sieg had met Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and was also expected to meet with all leaders of the seven coalition parties, namely Democratic Congress, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Popular Front for Democracy, Marematlou Freedom Party, National Independent Party, Lesotho People’s Congress and Basotho Congress Party.

Dr Sieg was also expected to meet senior government officials, a Coalition Agreement expert group, civil society and other relevant stakeholders as well as paying a courtesy call on Dr Mosisili. The visit is set to end on Friday when he is expected to produce a “framework document that will guide the Coalition Government in the implementation of its Agreement which specifies priority areas as identified by the Coalition Parties”.

According to the statement, Dr Sieg had been engaged with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. It added that he was also accompanied by foundation’s Regional Director Holger Dix.

Dr Mosisili was elected as premier by the seven parties in March following the snap 28 February 2015 general elections. The parties unveiled their Coalition Agreement on 10 April, with Dr Mosisili saying that unlike the previous coalition government headed by former premier Thomas Thabane, his seven-party alliance would not collapse midstream because of mutual respect among the leaders.

To ensure the partners are abreast with developments in other ministries or to discuss any concerns, he said they would be meeting every month, “or more often if necessary”.

These meetings — to be chaired by him or by Mr Metsing as the deputy premier — would also be an opportunity for the leaders to “interact and cement their relationship”.  Dr Mosisili also said any of the party leaders could meet him or his deputy whenever necessary without waiting for the scheduled monthly assemblies.

Among the objectives and commitments of the Coalition Agreement was:

  • To be a reformist government addressing fundamental issues of development;
  • To restore national peace and political stability;
  • To deepen democracy and respect for human rights;
  • To make transparency and good governance a hallmark of the government;
  • To drive economic growth with a view to leading Lesotho out of the group of least-developed nations within 10 years;
  • To place a greater focus on consultation and citizen participation;
  • To enhance equality of opportunity for all citizens.

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