MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili yesterday said his days are numbered. He however said he still had another five years at the helm of the country and his newly formed Democratic Congress (DC) party.
Mosisili made the announcement at a press conference in Maseru a few hours after his DC party was declared the majority in parliament.
He said he is now serving his final five-year term meaning he will step down in 2017 if he is elected premier after the next election.
The DC replaced the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) as the party in power yesterday after 45 MPs crossed the floor to join the new party.
Mosisili had led the LCD for the past 15 years.
He said Basotho had respected and trusted him for all this time and the time had now come for him to retire from active politics.
Mosisili said he had expressed the desire to step down after the 2007 general election but members of the LCD executive committee begged him to stay.
“I told the executive committee of my desire (to retire) in our first executive committee meeting after the 2007 general election. Some of them had tears running down their cheeks as they begged with me not to leave,” Mosisili said.
“I only got surprised in 2010 when some of them started saying I had overstayed and I want to be a leader forever. Truly, I am going to retire and the next term will be my last,” he said.
He said although his current term was supposed to be the last the current political environment within the LCD had forced him to remain in leadership.
Speaking at the same conference Local Government Minister Pontšo Sekatle, who is the DC’s interim women’s league leader, said she was among the women who shed tears when Mosisili told them that he was going to quit politics in 2007.
“It is indeed surprising that some people with whom we prevented the leader from retiring have now made a U-turn and are accusing him of clinging to power,” Sekatle said.
“They are being unfair to him,” she said.