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Opposition threatens parly boycott

 ’Marafaele Mohloboli

Parliament will reconvene tomorrow after it closed indefinitely on 24 January this year, amid indications that the delivery of the budget speech will be one of the major highlights of the new session.

National Assembly Spokesperson, Neo Mokatsa, recently confirmed the reconvening of parliament which closed a few days after the tabling of the Reforms Commission Bill.

The National Reforms Commission Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of the National Reforms Commission whose mandate is to facilitate national dialogue on the envisaged reforms.

The envisaged commission shall be composed of six commissioners and led by a retired judge or any other eminent person. It will operate for an initial period of 18 months with a provision for another 12 month extension to enable it to complete its mandate.

The opposition has however, said it will boycott any attempts to push through the bill.

Democratic Congress spokesperson, Serialong Qoo, recently said his party will not entertain the proposed bill if it is not preceded by a national dialogue to inform how it should be drafted.

“We are waiting for the opening of parliament to see what its business is going to look like, Mr Qoo said.

“Obviously, we don’t want anything to do with that bill until the government holds the national dialogue.”

His sentiments were echoed by the Spokesperson of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Teboho Sekata, who said his party will not participate in any business related to reforms in parliament.

“We are looking forward to the re-opening of parliament for the august house to embark on its developmental business. However, we will not have anything to do with the reforms until the national dialogue has been held.”

The leader of Popular Front for Democracy, Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, argued that the passage of the bill would undermine the civil society organizations which also signed the pre-elections pledge as well as the international community were not consulted for their input.

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