Sunday Express

Democratic Congress cornered

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) has been cornered.
The Sunday Express can reveal that by last night the DC had only managed to convince one small party with a single seat to join its coalition to enable it to form a government this week.
It now looks almost certain that unless something dramatic happens Lesotho will have a new government under a new leader.
That leader is likely to be the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s Tom Thabane whose party has formed a coalition with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Basotho National Party (BNP).
Mothetjoa Metsing, the LCD leader, will be his deputy.
Together the parties will have a majority of 61 seats in parliament.
Sources told this paper last night that although the DC remains hopeful of picking more seats from some smaller parties there is now a realisation within the party that its chances of remaining in government are
very slim. This is because the Thabane-led coalition has already taken an unassailable lead.
The bigger problem for the DC is that even the smaller parties are reluctant to join its coalition.
Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) leader Lekhetho Rakuoane has said his party will add its three seats to Thabane’s coalition.
Vincent Malebo, the leader of the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) which got one seat, said his heart is with the opposition coalition.
On Friday afternoon Thabane and Metsing had a meeting with leaders of the smaller parties to persuade them to join their coalition.
They met at the United Nations House in Maseru soon after the meeting of political leaders’ with the Christian Council of Lesotho.
In the meeting were leaders of the Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP), Lesotho Workers Party (LWP) and National Independent Party (NIP).
Malebo and Rakuoane also attended the meeting although they had made their positions clear.
“They made us an offer to work with them and we have agreed. What is left is for us to meet on Monday at the UN House to finalise the finer details of the agreement,” Thabang Nyeoe, leader of the BDNP said.
The seats from the PFD and the MFP will bring the coalition’s total number of seats to 65.
If you add the other three seats from the BDNP, LWP and NIP the coalition’s total will be 68.
So far only the Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP) has confirmed that it has agreed to work with the DC.
Its leader Jeremane Ramathebane said in principle the party will be joining the DC coalition.
He said he will meet the DC leadership next week to tie the loose ends of the deal. “The ABC, LCD and BNP have said nothing to me. They overlooked me even when I tried to get their attention,” Ramathebane said.
“Please ask Thabane and his people why they don’t want to work with me.”

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