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Ball is in Mosisili’s court

PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who is also the leader of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) this week finds himself at a cross-roads.
Mosisili has big decisions to make following what has been a tempestuous two months in his political career.
There has been speculation that Mosisili is on the verge of forming a new political party after receiving an overwhelming mandate from the grassroots.
He has the right to take whatever decisions he deems best for his political career.
Our position as a newspaper is that any split will be bad for the LCD and bad for our young democracy.
Any decision to form a breakaway party will not address the key issues that created problems within the LCD.
The new party will be formed by a coalition of the wounded but will not deal with the issues that gave birth to the grievances.
What the formation of the new party will only succeed to do is paper over the serious cracks within the party.
However the two factions within the LCD appear viscerally opposed to each other.
A “messy divorce” now appears to be the only viable option.
We will not celebrate this split.
First, we are at a loss as to the actual reasons behind the split beyond the façade of the personalities.
The rivalry between the factions is not one based on ideology.
No one within the LCD has bothered to explain to the people the reasons behind the acrimony between the two factions.
Secondly, we are disappointed that Lesotho’s politics seem to be dominated by the politics of personalities.
But beyond these personalities we are at a loss as to what these factions represent.
Two years after the party finally admitted it was battling bitter factionalism within its ranks we are still to understand what the two factions represent.
Are they all promising us more of the same dose of politics that we experienced under Mosisili?
The Metsing faction has also done a messy job in articulating its vision for the party and country.
Beyond the personalities we cannot expound what the two factions stand for.
Indeed, we have a right to ask: what the hell are they fighting for?
This brings us to what we see as the biggest challenge facing our politics.
Our biggest bane, in our view, is that we worship personalities. We have a nauseating tendency to raise mere mortals to the level of deities.
This unfortunately stifles debate on critical national issues.
In the event that Mosisili walks out of the LCD and forms a breakaway party as is expected, he will face a big test of setting up a party just a few months before a key election.
That is a gamble.
While he has been the “face” of the LCD for 14 years, success in the election is not guaranteed.
Mosisili will need to work his socks off to set up party structures while at the same time campaigning for his party’s candidates. That will not be easy.
The faction aligned to Metsing will also not have it easy though.
While Metsing strikes us as a humble politician who is at peace with the grassroots he lacks the ruthlessness and drive that are often the hallmark of great politicians.
But what is clear though is that both sides are in a conundrum. Neither a Mosisili-led nor a Metsing-led faction will win an outright majority in the election.
This could pave way for a hung parliament where neither of the factions will retain an absolute majority.
That would be undesirable.
Such a hung parliament could stall economic development as no one party will have the numbers to push through parliamentary Bills.
The result is that the party in power will be forced into compromises with rival political parties.
It could also lead to unhealthy alliances as the party in government seeks to railroad its legislative agenda.
In the event that Mosisili breaks away, he must still plan now to hand over to his hand-picked successor if he wants to salvage his reputation as the leader who brought a measure of political stability to Lesotho during his 14-year tenure.
The ball is in his court.

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