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Moleleki to become leader of opposition

Bongiwe Zihlangu MASERU — Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader Monyane Moleleki is likely to assume the position of official leader of the opposition when parliament reopens, the Sunday Express heard this week.

DC leader and former prime minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, is said to have opted not to be the leader of the official opposition in parliament in order to enjoy the benefits of the office of a retired prime minister. Mosisili stepped down as premier on June 8 paving way for All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane to take over.

The Sunday Express understands that the DC had since resolved that Mosisili would settle for the benefits bestowed upon a retired prime minister which include 80 percent of his basic salary when he was a prime minister, official car, driver, bodyguard, free water and electricity, a housemaid and a gardener. Mosisili, by virtue of being an MP representing the Tsoelike constituency in the National Assembly, is also entitled to no less than M20 000 monthly basic salary as a DC

Mosisili was Lesotho’s prime minister for 14 years until the May 26 election in which his party failed to win a clear majority. Although the DC won the majority with 48 seats, they were not enough to reach the required 61 seats to form government. Its attempt to patch up a coalition deal with other opposition parties hit a brick wall as they rejected their overtures. Instead, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Basotho National Party (BNP) quickly cobbled a coalition deal and formed government. A source who spoke to the Sunday Express yesterday, said the DC national executive committee had resolved to appoint Moleleki as the official leader of the opposition in the August House and that as recently as Tuesday the proposal was put before the party’s women’s league.

“It’s already a done deal with the women’s committee because Moleleki enjoys their support,” the source said.

“The DC is currently touring the country to sell the proposal to the party’s constituency committes but it’s as good as done.” Moleleki, once the official leader of the opposition, will enjoy benefits similar to those of a minister which include an official car, bodyguard, driver and a minister’s salary. When contacted for comment yesterday, Semano Sekatle, the DC deputy secretary general, told this paper that it was not for the national executive committee and other committees to make such a decision “but that of a DC parliamentary caucus”. “It’s not the executive committee’s place to make a call of that nature but that of a parliamentary caucus.
The NEC can only make a recommendation,” Sekatle said. According to Sekatle, a committee of the DC caucus would make a final decision on who will be the official leader of the opposition. “The committee of the parliamentary caucus will be formed when the Eighth Parliament officially convenes,” Sekatle said. “The committee will then make a resolution as to who will be the official leader of the opposition then relay the decision to the speaker of the House for plementation.”

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