Moleleki says no to early polls

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DC former Deputy Leader, Monyane Moleleki

Billy Ntaote

FORMER Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader Monyane Moleleki has implored the Council of State not to acquiesce to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s threat to advise King Letsie III to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections in the event of a no confidence vote on his government.

Mr Moleleki, who this week jumped ship from the DC with the intention of forming a new political party, said holding of fresh elections would only burden the treasury which was already broke.

Mr Moleleki said this in response to Dr Mosisili’s suggestion during the DC’s weekend special conference that “elections were looming”.

Mr Moleleki addressed his appeal to the Council of State who according to Section 95 of the Lesotho Constitution, can advise the King to call for elections.

“We are hardly in a position to finance and hold the local government elections set for March (2017) because all the money has been depleted,” Mr Moleleki said.

He said former Minister of Finance Mamphono Khaketla (now Foreign Affairs Minister) had prioritised payments to Bidvest Bank Limited over other government debts. Bidvest were contracted to provide vehicle fleet services to government.

“I hope that the Council of State will see reason in advising the King not to dissolve parliament,” he said, adding that the Council should advise the King to have Dr Mosisili hand over the reins of power to their proposed coalition in the event of their success in pushing through the vote of no confidence in the national assembly.

He said in the event that elections were held, they would support their colleagues in the tripartite bloc “because we want Ntate Mosisili to return from elections with only three constituencies”.

“I am going to say that my colleagues (ABC, BNP and RCL) should contest where we feel that we cannot win elections.

“I will appeal to our supporters to give them our votes as our party will still be trying to find its feet, so that we guarantee that Ntate Metsing (Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing) should not enter parliament on a constituency seat,” Mr Moleleki said.

Dr Mosisili instigated the suspension of Mr Moleleki and nine other members of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) on Sunday from contesting any election under the party banner from the sub-branches to the country’s general elections for six years.

They were suspended by the party’s special general conference which Dr Mosisili had convened to rein on the NEC after months of increasingly bitter power struggles where Mr Moleleki and his Lirurubele (butterflies) faction had sought to dethrone Dr Mosisili and pull the party out of the seven parties’ coalition government which the latter heads as Prime Minister.

The nine other NEC members are Secretary-General Ralechate ’Mokose, Chairperson ’Maboiketlo Maliehe, Deputy Secretary General Refiloe Litjobo, Deputy Chairperson Kose Makoa, Deputy Editor Retšelisitsoe Masenyetse, Second Member Ndiwuhleli Ndlomose, third member ’Mathabo Shao, fourth member Rethabile Marumo and Youth League President Thuso Litjobo.

Mr Moleleki has since been replaced as deputy party leader by Sports Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu.

However, Mr Moleleki who is also the Machache Constituency Member of Parliament is not taking his suspension lying down and this week, he told a press conference he would form the new party to work for the “unity and economic emancipation of Basotho”.

He said the party would be different from other parties including “my DC which I am leaving with a heavy heart” in that “the leader shall not be the apex or pinnacle that hovers above everyone but shall be a carpet upon which everyone cleans their shoes”.

“The leader shall not have a fixed term of office. The leader shall be removed from office and elected into office at any point in time by the members of the party using the electronic voting system,” Mr Moleleki said.

Mr Moleleki said the pact he had signed with the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) remained in place albeit with a few adjustments to reflect the new reality of the mooted new political party.

Last month, Mr Moleleki signed a coalition agreement with the tripartite opposition bloc to oust the seven-party coalition government.

Under the pact Mr Moleleki would head a new coalition government for the first 18 months in the event they form the government with Dr Thabane as the deputy prime minister.

Mr Moleleki also revealed that he had informed RCL leader Keketso Rantso of his plans to form the party while efforts to inform Dr Thomas Thabane (ABC) and Mr Thesele ‘Maseribane (BNP) were thus far unsuccessful as they were unreachable on their mobile phones.

“We will still form a government that will take over the reins of power from this current government,” Mr Moleleki said of their pact.

 

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