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LCD upbeat over 2017 poll

by Sunday Express
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Party embarks on rebuilding exercise in preparation for the general election 

Boitumelo Koloi
Maseru

The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy secretary general Tšeliso Mokhosi has said the party has embarked on a massive rebuilding exercise following the heavy blow it suffered when some of its members defected in 2012 to form theDemocratic Congress (DC).

LCDIn an interview with the Sunday Express, Mokhosi said his office had released a circular notifying members of plans to resuscitate party structures — notably the youth and women’s leagues — dissolved after the 2012 National Assembly general elections.
According to Mokhosi, the two critical leagues would be restored in August and September, respectively.
“A circular has already been released which tells the two leagues’ grassroots structures to prepare for conferences which would resuscitate their respective committees. The women’s league will be elected in August with the youth league following shortly in September,” he said.

Mokhosi, who is also the Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, said the defection of some of their members to form the DC had negatively impacted on the party, hence the need to rejuvenate it.
“This move to revive the leagues and their committees is part of our plan to stabilise the party in order to ensure that it performs even better in the next edition of the general elections set for 2017.”
Most of the people previously at the helm of these two leagues defected with then party leader and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili to the newly-formed DC.

Following the defection, the leagues were led by interim committees until they were disbanded soon after the formation of a coalition government in June 2012, comprising the LCD, Basotho National Party (BNP) and All Basotho Convention (ABC).

Mokhosi said the party allowed so much time between the release of the circular and the actual staging of the conferences in question because the process of electing the committees was a lengthy one.
“You see, the leagues would have to nominate members to attend the conferences. These members would be elected through the party’s primary structures from village committees, to regional
committees, right up to constituency level.
“That process tends to consume a lot of time as it has to be carried out and completed properly in order to ensure that it represents the voice of the people.”

According to Mokhosi, after receiving the names of the candidates competing for places in the leadership of the said leagues, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) would be tasked with rechecking the candidates’ legitimacy for election.

Although nomination into the party leadership structures is supposed to be done in accordance with the LCD constitution, Mokhosi said this was not always necessarily the case.
“There are times when we suspend some of the constitutional clauses if such a decision is in the best interests of the party.
“For instance, a person can only be elected into the party’s leadership structures if he or she satisfies certain provisions according to the LCD constitution. However, since we are rebuilding the party, we are likely to overlook such clauses if such a decision is deemed to be for the good of the party,” Mokhosi said.

Meanwhile, the LCD NEC has not pronounced itself on the way forward in filling the Secretary General post left vacant following the ouster of Keketso Rantšo last month.
According to Mokhosi, the released circular also bears notice of the release of Rantšo from office.

However, Mokhosi was quick to mention that both the youth and women’s leagues had no jurisdiction to discuss matters relating to the NEC.
“The youth and women’s leagues can only make recommendations as far as matters of the NEC are concerned and not give directives,” he said.

Mokhosi said they would ensure that people who made it to the leadership of the leagues were those who would continue “the good performance” of the party in the previous elections.
“We were very impressed with our performance in the recent election considering that we went to the polls barely three months after the split which led to the formation of the DC,” Mokhosi said.
“That is why we are confident of doing even better as we would be better prepared by the time of the next general election in 2017.”

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