Thabane rallies ABC supporters

Keiso Mohloboli

QUTHING –– Prime Minister and All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Thomas Thabane, has challenged his party to win the 2017 general election with an outright majority that would enable it to govern on its own.
Addressing an ABC rally in Tele, Quthing, on Sunday, Dr Thabane said he was “tired” of negotiating with legislators from other parties each time he tries to push for critical issues to be considered by parliament.
Dr Thabane also bemoaned the fact that the ABC had to seek partners — the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) — to form a coalition government after failing to win the June 2012 general election with the required 61-plus of the 120 parliamentary seats to govern on its own.

The coalition is now under threat after LCD leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, publicly accused Dr Thabane of making key decisions without consulting him and BNP leader Thesele ‘Maseribane.
Last week, Metsing announced the LCD had now signed an agreement with the main opposition Democratic Congress (DC), with a view to forming a coalition government.
However, Dr Thabane told the Tele rally this should have never been the case, had the ABC won the last election resoundingly.
“My appeal is that you should work very hard to grow the party’s support base.
“Only with a majority in parliament, can I be a proper prime minister with the necessary powers to make decisions.
“But because you failed to make me a proper prime minister, I have been forced into a relationship with other political parties.
“A coalition government is not a bad idea, but I appeal to you all, to work on the growth of the party so that come election time in 2017, we have the required majority seats in parliament,” Dr Thabane said.

The premier further said it was painful to end up having unnecessary arguments with his fellow leaders in the coalition government and making concessions on issues he would not be in agreement with.
“I want to be a majority prime minister, who can make decisions in the best interest of Basotho.
“But as things stand, the party has made me a toy; a prime minister who does not have a say in anything without consultation.”

Dr Thabane further said he was surprised Basotho were happy to be led by “a bunch of lunatics”, adding it was unacceptable for the LCD to claim it supported the current administration, while at the same time, working with the DC to form yet another coalition government.
“That is why I am saying you should mobilise more support for the party, so that we have the majority to rule on our own after the 2017 election.
“I want to give you the good governance that you deserve, but this can only be achieved when we are alone in government as the ABC.”
Dr Thabane said his wish is to ensure Lesotho is a stable country before he can consider retirement.
“It is not easy for me to walk away and go home and start drawing a pension before I have put Lesotho in a stable economic and political environment.
“Go back to your constituencies and devise strategies that will see this party grow and win the next election with a resounding majority.”

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