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Limit PM’s powers: Chief Theko

by Lesotho Times
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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, Chief Khoabane Theko, who is also the chairperson of the College of Chiefs has blamed the country’s instability on the excessive powers that politicians, especially prime ministers wield.

Chief Theko said this in an exclusive interview with the Lesotho Times yesterday. He argued that politicians acted as they wished because of they had the power to disregard the advice of the Council of State and the King concerning the prorogation and dissolution of parliament.

He further blamed former Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, for calling for the 3 June 2017 elections instead of “just relinquishing power”.

“The former PM obdurately went on and called for the elections, which he lost dismally, whereas he could have just relinquished power to the opposition instead of wasting state resources,” Chief Theko said.

He said that Dr Mosisili was able to act in that manner because of the powers vested in him by Section 83 of the Constitution, which gives any Prime Minister a loop hole to defy the status quo even if they lost a motion of no confidence in parliament.

Section 83 (1) provides that the “King may at any time prorogue or dissolve parliament”.

However, sub section (4) of Section 83 further says that, “In the exercise of his powers to dissolve or prorogue Parliament, the King shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister”.

According to Chief Theko, the requirement for the King to act on the advice of the Prime Minister has created problems for Lesotho.

“As long as that part of the constitution is not amended and politicians continue to use it to protect their interests, we will always be in this sorry state of economic affairs,” Chief Theko said.

“This goes for all those who have potential of wielding such powers. The truth of the matter is that Section 83 gives any prime minister a carte blanche to do as they want.

“Any prime minister who is patriotic and cares enough for his people could have just relinquished the power. I do not know what he (Dr Mosisili) was thinking but going to the elections was an absolute waste of state resources.

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