THE newly-formed Alliance of Democrats (AD) on Friday received its certificate of registration, becoming the 25th political party in Lesotho.
The AD was formed last month by former Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki in the wake of months of acrimonious infighting with DC leader and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
Mr Moleleki received the certificate of registration from Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Deputy Director of Elections, Mphasa Mokhochane at the IEC offices in Maseru where he emphasised the need to pursue national unity in his address to party supporters.
“The Alliance of Democrats is not a congress party,” Mr Moleleki said, adding, “I am of a congress origin but have decided to go by what those rallying after me want, which is the unity of the nation.
“Our main objective is to do away with pointing fingers and name calling.”
He added: “For the past 50 years, there have been divisions within Lesotho politics along the congress, national and communism party lines and this came with bloodshed just two months after we got independence.
“To be precise,it was on 26 December 1966 when we had the first bloodshed, and the last of it was in 2014 and I am not blaming anyone for that.”
He said the AD had adopted the “Forward Ever” slogan to move away from the country’s murky past which was tainted by hatred, violence and bloodshed that caused many to flee the country including himself and former prime ministers, Ntsu Mokhehle and Thomas Thabane.
“I swear to you by the Almighty God that I shall not rest until Ntate Thabane has come back to peacefully take part in the development and the unity of this country and its people.
“We cannot achieve this as long as we chase each other with swords like we are doing; today it’s you and tomorrow it’s me and dogs will be slurping our blood in the village grounds,” Mr Moleleki said.
He said his party would also end the scourge of unemployment as well as bad governance and corruption.
Former ministers, Mahali Phamotse, Kabelo Mafora, Ralechate ’Mokose, Thabiso Litšiba and Member of Parliament for Likhoele Constituency, Teboho Lehloenya attended the ceremony along with scores of AD supporters clad in party regalia.
IEC Operations Officer, Kotsoane Motsie said the certification was granted after AD complied with all the requirements.
“We visited at least five constituencies to verify that the AD had indeed registered candidates eligible to vote. We have satisfied ourselves that AD has met all the requirements to register as a political party,” Mr Motsie said.
Mr Moleleki’s AD signed a coalition pact with the tripartite opposition bloc to oust the seven-party coalition government.
However, he has sharply differed with the bloc, which includes the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), on the Amnesty Bill of 2016 which seeks to grant members of the security sector a blanket amnesty for offences committed between January 2007 and December 2015.
While Mr Moleleki has insisted a blanket amnesty was imperative to ensure lasting peace, the bloc has been steadfast in asserting they should face justice.
The bloc also supports the conclusion reached by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho’s instability that there was no basis for the mutiny charges slapped on 23 soldiers and its recommendation for their unconditional release. However, Mr Moleleki avers that making a distinction between those accused of mutiny and those accused of murder and other offences would create disaffection among the armed forces.