DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) deputy leader Monyane Moleleki says the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will patiently wait for National Assembly Speaker Ntlhoi Motsamai to announce their withdrawal from the government.
However, Mr Moleleki stressed in an interview with the Lesotho Times yesterday that any delays in making the announcement would not reverse the NEC’s decision.
He said DC Secretary-General Ralechate ‘Mokose submitted a letter to the National Assembly stating the DC’s decision to pull out of the seven-party governing coalition.
Mr Moleleki, along with NEC members aligned to his Lirurubele (butterflies) faction, last week pulled out of the governing coalition citing its alleged failure to unite the politically-polarised nation, corruption, nepotism and deteriorating relations with development partners among the reasons for the decision.
Mr Moleleki and four other ministers and deputies also resigned from government, before moving to the National Assembly’s crossbench last Friday to signify their withdrawal from the government.
However, the Lirurubele-aligned MPs’ expectation of having the decision announced by Ms Motsamai was dashed since Monday after she proceeded with normal parliamentary business.
The Lesotho Times is in possession of a copy of the letter dated 10 November 2016 and addressed to Ms Motsamai.
Headlined “Withdrawal of the Democratic Congress (DC) from the coalition government (Khokanyana’ Phiri)” it is signed by Mr ‘Mokose and reads: “The national executive committee at its sitting of 10 November 2016 resolved to withdraw the DC from the coalition government with immediate effect.”
For her part, Ms Motsamai only acknowledged receiving the letter but did not mention when the letter would be read to the house.
However, Mr Moleleki said they were patiently waiting for the official announcement but cautioned the speaker the NEC’s decision was “final and her delays would not change anything”.
“We have to practice restraint and patience by giving everyone an all-round opportunity to deeply reflect on what they do and say,” he said. “So we will give her the time she needs to read our letter to the house. If she delays, whatever she rules may be overtaken by events, because we have resigned and she cannot un-resign us.”
Mr Moleleki added: “We have resigned from our positions and we have withdrawn our party from government and it is not up to her to try to analyse difficult issues. All she needs to do should be in line with parliamentary procedures — full stop — without much commentary on that letter.”
He said more ministers and MPs would “soon” join them on the cross bench, adding some were still consulting with their constituencies.
“We are still waiting for more of our members to resign from their ministerial positions and other MPs to join us on the cross bench.”
Mr Moleleki stressed Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili remained the country’s premier “until he resigns”.
“As far as the business of parliament and government is concerned, Ntate Mosisili remains the prime minister until he resigns,” he said.
“We have said that we will not pass a vote of no confidence against our leader because we do not want to humiliate him. It is not that we would not win such a motion against him, you know we would.”
“They have 44 MPs, and one minister will soon be resigning leaving them with 43. I am going to receive the signatures of 22 MPs,” Mr Moleleki said, adding that he also had the backing of the opposition bloc.