HEALTH Minister Dr ’Molotsi Monyamane’s hopes of representing the Democratic Congress (DC) in the Matsieng constituency have been dealt a fatal blow after he was defeated in a party primary by Foreign Affairs Ministry Principal Secretary Tšokolo Maina.
Dr Monyamane who was bidding to be an elected legislator for the first time, garnered 58 votes to Mr Maina’s 102 in yesterday’s primary to choose the party candidate for the general elections set for 3 June 2017. Matsieng constituency is in the Maseru district.
A third candidate, Morero Mohoebi, withdrew from the race leaving the two to battle for the sole ticket to represent the DC.
King Letsie III proclaimed 3 June 2017 as election day after dissolving parliament on 6 March 2017 at the advice of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili. This was after a four-party opposition alliance successfully sponsored a no-confidence vote on Dr Mosisili’s seven-party governing coalition on 1 March 2017.
The premier is also leader of the DC which is the main coalition partner in the outgoing government.
Dr Monyamane initially requested a re-run of the polls citing irregularities. However, the minister has since had a change of heart and offered his full support to Mr Maina as the party candidate.
“Last week, there were misunderstandings over the interpretation of the party constitution and I felt there were issues that needed to be straightened out, but with the commencement of the (voting) exercise yesterday, I can safely say I am happy and have accepted defeat because it was a very transparent and democratic process,” he told Dr the Sunday Express in an interview.
“I respect the result and concede that the people have spoken and no one is above the constitution.
“I am going to support Maina full force and make sure that we win that constituency. I am happy with all that transpired at the voting exercise.”
Dr Monyamane further said he was not discouraged by his loss as the party, rather than the individual, was supreme.
“I am not at all discouraged and this is not about me as a person but the party.
“We have to respect the outcome and this will make me a bigger person. My initial queries were fully investigated and I urge everyone to rally behind Maina and support him so that we emerge victorious in the elections,” he added.