LCD to maintain current ministries, while DC gets remainder. BBDP, BCP and LPC would also be part of government
FROM LEFT: LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing, DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili, LPC deputy leader Molahlehi Letlotlo, BCP leader Thulo Mahlakeng and BBDP leader Jeremane Ramathebane at a press conference announcing the new alliance on Friday.
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) would maintain its current share of ministries while the Democratic Congress (DC) gets the remaining departments under an agreement to form a coalition government the two parties have entered into, the Sunday Express can reveal.
According to a confidential, eight-page document signed by DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili and his LCD counterpart Mothetjoa Metsing on Wednesday — a copy of which the Sunday Express has managed to obtain — the Basotho Batho Democratic Congress (BBDP), Basotho Congress for Democracy (BCP) and Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) would also be allocated ministerial posts in the new government.
The document further states Dr Mosisili would be the prime minister, and Mr Metsing his deputy, while both leaders would not hold any ministerial posts “in order to have a full and contemporaneous overview of the business of government”.
The agreement — sealed just a day after His Majesty King Letsie III signed Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s request to prorogue (suspend) parliament for nine months — states the LCD would keep the ministries it controls under the present government “and the remaining ministries shall lie with the DC”.
According to the agreement, the DC, which has 48 seats in parliament, would then allocate some ministerial/deputy-ministerial posts to the BBDP, BCP and LPC.
However, the agreement adds the prime minister and deputy prime minister would not hold any cabinet posts “but shall be the overseers of government and its performance”.
“The general principle in this regard is that the prime minister and deputy prime minister should have a full and contemporaneous overview of the business of government.
“The responsibility of the allocation of ministerial positions shall lie with the prime minister and deputy prime minister, guided by considerations of fairness, effectiveness of government, and reconciliatory factors that are needed for the purpose of nation-building.”
Meanwhile, on the evening of the same day that the agreement was signed, Mr Metsing held a press conference at Black Swan lodge, where he lambasted Dr Thabane, accusing him of despising the coalition government, thus “pushing the LCD to the edge”.
Mr Metsing further said the LCD was yet to court other parties to form a coalition government, but based on the date on which the agreement with the DC was signed, he apparently failed to mention he had already “sealed the deal” with Dr Mosisili.
In June 2012, the LCD, Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane’s Basotho National Party (BNP), cobbled up their seats to come up with the constitutionally required 61 seats to form a coalition government, thus effectively ending Dr Mosisili’s 15-year tenure as Lesotho’s premier.
However, the LCD/DC agreement states that the two parties have resolved to form a coalition government because “the two years of the existing Government of a Coalition of Parties, has been a comedy of errors from the day the coalition was being negotiated”.
Article 7 of the agreement, which addresses how the coalition will be monitored, states the prime minister, together with the deputy, “shall establish a Coalition Committee which will oversee the operation of the coalition, supported by a Cabinet Secretariat”.
“It will be co-chaired by the prime minister and deputy prime minister, and shall have equal members drawn from each party.”
On the responsibilities of the different parties, Article 8 (8.1) of the agreement says the parties shall spare no effort in making sure their followers and
political structures “respect this agreement”.
“The terms of this agreement shall immediately be communicated to the nation through rallies, radio, television, print, electronic and other media,” Section 8.1 of the agreement adds.
Article 9 of the agreement under “collaboration” further underscores the prime minister and his deputy, “may jointly decide to collaborate with political parties that are outside of this agreement as they may deem appropriate”.
The two parties again agree to revisit the agreement “when necessary” in Article 10 of the pact.
“This agreement shall be revisited and reviewed by representatives of the parties (DC and LCD), as and when necessary, in line with contemporary experience and exigencies of governance,” the agreement says.
Both Dr Mosisili and Mr Metsing would not field questions from journalists when they held a press conference to announce their partnership on Friday.
Meanwhile, highly-placed sources told the Sunday Express the two leaders have already sent a copy of the agreement to the Office of His Majesty King Letsie III, as a way of informing him of the intention of the two parties to form a coalition government.
Contacted last night for comment, the King’s Senior Private Secretary, Mabotse Lerotholi said: “I found the letter from the LCD and DC at my office during the visit of the Namibian President.
“It is just a letter, not an agreement. As for His Majesty, he has no knowledge of the existence of the letter and he will only get it on Monday as it arrived during his busy schedule that included the visit of the Namibian President.”
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