Monyake prays for a one-party government
Progressive Democrats (PD) leader, Mophato Monyake, is hoping one party wins yesterday’s parliamentary elections with an outright majority for Lesotho to have a single-party government.
A total of 23 political parties contested the snap elections but Mr Monyake is hoping a single party wins the minimum 61 of the 120 National Assembly seats it requires to form government to avoid a coalition administration which he said had proved “unworkable”.
Mr Monyake was at Mpho Community Polling Station yesterday morning to witness proceedings as he was one of the candidates standing in Maseru’s Stadium Area constituency.
Mr Monyake, who won the constituency under an All Basotho Convention (ABC) ticket in the last election in 2012, said the coalition government failed to last its five-year term because the three parties did not have a “common agenda”.
The former Justice and Correctional Services minister said there were too many ideological differences among the three governing partners—Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, his deputy Mothetjoa Metsing and Senior Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane—who formed a coalition government after the 26 May 2012 election had resulted in a hung parliament.
“Hopefully, we are not going to have a coalition this time; I hope we will have single-party government so that we can have stability in this country.
“The three parties in the previous coalition government (Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention, Mr Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy and Chief ‘Maseribane’s Basotho National Party) had their different agendas which made it extremely difficult to work together. The leaders did not have a programme or common agenda on how to lead this country. They cannot even pinpoint any development they achieved while in power as they were concentrating on their own party interests,” said Mr Monyake, who formed the PD after he was fired from his cabinet post by Dr Thabane in February last year.
In the event a coalition is inevitable, Mr Monyake said the party with the most parliamentary seats should partner “smaller ones” and form government.
“If this country is going to have a coalition government after these elections, it should be led by the party with the most seats.
“The previous coalition had three big parties but the one which had the most seats, which was the Democratic Congress was not in government, and this is where the problem started.
“It would be better if the new government is formed by the leading party and smaller ones, because we saw the last one failed to work together despite constituting three big parties.
“The different ministries under these parties ended up either hiring their supporters or corruptly awarding the supporters tenders to the detriment of service-delivery.”
Mr Monyake said yesterday’s elections were critical as they stood between Lesotho’s success and failure.
“These are crunch elections; do-or-die elections for Lesotho because for the first time, party leaders are talking about real issues and not emotions.
“I believe we have matured politically as a nation, because now the politicians and voters are concerned about bread-and-butter issues, and not just rhetoric or empty promises.”