Opposition plans no confidence vote

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Oppositions Members of Paliament sing & dance at the Parliament
Oppositions Members of Paliament sing & dance at the Parliament

Billy Ntaote

THE opposition’s numerical strength in the National Assembly will be put to the test this week as it seeks to pass a vote of no confidence in Deputy Speaker Montšuoe Lethoba.

Should it succeed, the move would be the precursor to a much bigger vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

A motion paper dated 15 November 2016 and seen by this publication lists Basotho National Party (BNP) Deputy Leader Joang Molapo and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) Secretary-General ‘Mamolula Ntabe as the co-sponsors of the move to unseat Mr Lethoba.

The motion, comes amid the high drama of infighting in the Democratic Congress (DC) which led to last week’s resolution by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to withdraw from the seven-party coalition government thus raising the spectre of a vote of no confidence in the government.

However, the NEC’s call has not been heeded by all party members as DC leader Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and other members remain on the government bench in the national assembly despite calls for them to resign.

Chief Molapo yesterday told the Lesotho Times they had been emboldened to make their move by the divisions in the DC.

“We realised that the Speaker (Ntlhoi Motsamai) intends to announce the changes brought to the house by the DC NEC’s resolution to withdraw from the government at her own leisure and we want to test our strength to see whether we will be able to meet the required simple majority to oust the Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly through a vote of no confidence,” Chief Molapo said.

He said should the move succeed, “it is a logical conclusion that a motion of no confidence in the prime minister shall follow”.

“When people see the numbers that the opposition has and the premier himself sees the numbers, he will realise that those are the numbers aligned against him.

Ntate Mosisili will know what is going on and that will tell him that if we win he will also lose a motion of confidence. And people in the DC will end up following their party’s directive and move to the cross bench and join Ntate Moleleki,” Chief Molapo said.

Ms Ntabe echoed the sentiment, saying it was the role of the opposition, as a government in waiting, to test if government still had the numerical strength that it possessed when it came to power.

For his part, All Basotho Convention Chief Whip, Motlohi Maliehe said the party was engaged in negotiations with its allies on the modalities of cooperation when the time came to vote for the proposed motion against the deputy speaker.

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