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Opposition mulls coalition to oust LCD

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — At least five small political parties are mulling a grand coalition to take on the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party in this year’s general election.

The parties say they want a united voice in parliament among opposition forces.

Last week, the Sunday Express spoke to Senkatana party leader, Lehlohonolo Tšehlana, who is driving the coalition plan. Below are excerpts of the interview.

SUNDAY EXPRESS (SE): What is the nature of this coalition you are planning?

Tšehlana: Although we have not talked at length with other interested parties about it, I can say it is a coalition meant to help us have a considerable representation in parliament so that our contribution to parliamentary debates cannot be
easily taken for granted by the ruling party.

That is the basis of our contemplated alliance.

We must be seen to contribute meaningfully in parliament and our arguments should not be
easily brushed aside by the ruling majority.

We must have enough strength to instill a sense of responsibility to the ruling party so that it will not reject every good suggestion from the opposition side.

SE: How will the alliance work?

Tšehlana: We haven’t come to that as yet.

We are going to hold a meeting before the end of this month to officialise things and plan how we are going to work.

But I personally think it should be like the alliance entered into between the LPC (Lesotho People’s Congress) and Basutoland African
Congress (BAC) ahead of 2007 general election. But that is for all parties to decide.

SE: Who will be the alliance’s leader?

Tšehlana: The parties will decide after the meeting I have talked about. One must understand that at
present we have not met to officialise this.

We merely talked about it as leaders but we have not officially (decided about this.)

This idea was first brought to us by the BBDP (Basotho Batho Democratic Party) leader, Mr Jeremane Ramathebane, and we are yet to sit around the table to talk about the alliance’s structures.

SE: Which are other parties interested in the coalition?

Tšehlana: We have spoken to BDNP (Basotho Democratic National Party), Lesotho Workers’ Party, the ADC (African Democratic Corporation) and we have Senkatana and
BBDP (Basotho Batho Democratic Party).

SE: Is there anything concrete
you have so far talked among yourselves?

Tšehlana: Like I said, our focus for now is to form an alliance
and thereafter we will discuss the details.

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