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IEC dismisses case lodged against AD

by Lesotho Times
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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Tribunal has dismissed a complaint lodged by the governing coalition parties against the Alliance of Democrats (AD) ruling that the parties’ representative, Dr Fako Likoti, had no authorisation and locus standi to act on their behalf.

The complaint was lodged by the Democratic Congress (DC), Lesotho Congress of Democracy, Popular Front for Democracy, National Independent Party, Basotho Congress Party (BCP), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) and Lesotho People’s Congress.

However, the BCP and MFP later wrote letters disassociating themselves from the complaint.

The complainants were represented by Dr Likoti, who is also Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Political and Economic advisor. In the complaint, Dr Likoti identified himself as an employee of the DC.

In their joint complaint, the parties alleged that AD members had carried guns on 2 April 2017 during primary elections meetings in Koro-Koro and Khafung constituencies. The case was heard by Advocate Seitebatso Mathealira Seeiso and Peete Lerotholi on 8, 19 and 22 May 2017.

The complainants argued that the AD had contravened the code of conduct for political parties during elections and sections of the National Assembly Electoral Act of 2011.

“At (sic) Koro-Koro a gun was fired resulting in the death of a person identified as Thabiso Moqolo and injuries to two others,” the parties stated.

“Similarly there was violence at (sic) Khafung between Thabana Seshea and Nkalimeng Mothobi. This is in violation of the Code of Conduct and in particular Sections 122 (2) which states that a political party registered with the Commission shall subscribe to the Code.”

AD Youth League President Thuso Litjobo and his bodyguard, Thato Makara have since been charged with murdering Mr Moqolo with a 7.65 pistol and await trial out of custody.

Dr Likoti stated that the AD failed to comply with the code of conduct for political parties during elections particularly Sub section 4 which bind them to:

“(a) To publicly and repeatedly condemn violence and intimidation and to avoid the use of language of any kind of action which may lead to violence or intimidation,

(b) To refrain from any action involving intimidation;

(c) To ensure that no arms or weapons of any kind are carried or displayed at any political party’s meetings or in the course of any march, demonstration or other events of a political nature.”

However, Advocate Ranale Thoahlane, who represented the AD, stated that the BCP and MFP had written letters to the IEC distancing themselves from the complaint.

“An unauthorised proceeding nullifies the complaint thus making it null and void because it is based on a fraudulent document,” he said.

Adv Thoahlane also asserted that Dr Likioti had no basis to represent the parties since the complaint was signed by their secretary-generals.

“The question of who the complainant is in this instance fundamental to the claim. A person who submits a claim in a representative capacity must have duly authorised and should provide proof thereof.

“The claim cannot be separated because it is submitted as one. It can also not be ratified. Once a claim is submitted without authorisation, it is a nullity because the complainant is not what the complainant purports it to be.”

He added: “Since the beginning of the case, the DC representative (Dr Likoti) has been the only one attending all the proceedings; this begs the question of whether or not the LCD, NIP, PFD and LPC are also part of this claim.”

Adv Thoahlane also averred that Dr Likoti citing himself as a DC employee or a civil servant did not grant him the authority to represent all the parties.

The IEC Tribunal noted that Dr Likoti failed to produce the authorisation from the DC and the six other parties. The tribunal also found that the BCP and MFP had disassociated themselves from the complaint “as evidenced by letters submitted by the two political parties”.

“Dr Likoti is not one of the signatories of the complaint; he is not an office-bearer of any of the political parties except that he mentioned that he was an employee of the Democratic Congress and had indeed not provided evidence of being authorised by his party.”

In its ruling, dated 29 May 2017, the tribunal states: “The claim was dismissed for lack of authorisation and locus standi.”

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