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Thabane to seek re-election


PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane says he will seek re-election next year after signing an agreement with rival political parties.

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Dr Thabane said he is prepared to fight for every vote in the election to seek a new mandate.

Political parties in Lesotho’s coalition government and other political groupings that have registered with the electoral commission signed the “Maseru Facilitation Declaration” agreement on 25 September 2014.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, backed by regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), spearheaded mediation efforts that led to the accord. The agreement is aimed at ending the political tension and subsequent security challenges the country faces.

Dr Thabane said the agreement paved the way for the political parties to seek a new mandate from citizens in a general election next year.

“There has been an agreement that to solve the little crisis we had here, we should go back to the people through an election. An election date has been set for next year, and I will certainly be running in my constituency,” said Dr Thabane.

Constitutional amendment

Some Basotho have called for a constitutional amendment to address any future disagreements in a coalition government, and blame the country’s political crisis on disagreements between Dr Thabane and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.

Dr Thabane said he is amendable to amending the constitution to resolve any future political stalemate.

“There are certain amendments that would certainly improve matters and if we indeed engage in that kind of exercise, that would be fine,” said Dr Thabane.

“We are now going to have parliament and parliament we will be reopening on 17 October to simply address issues related to the election itself. And I’m sure that people had it in their mind to look at the electoral law and other things and get some amendments made, I think there would be no problem.”

Security challenges

Mr Ramaphosa this week plans to meet Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, a former commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), who is accused of attempting to overthrow the coalition government. He is also suspected of having stolen weapons from Lesotho armory. He denies both charges, and refuses to accept his dismissal which Dr Thabane announced on 29 August 2014.

Some Basotho say the country’s security agencies are divided – with the police supporting Dr Thabane and the army Mr Metsing.

Dr Thabane says the army is to blame for the security crisis.

“The police are disciplined and the army has disciplinary challenges, particularly at the top, but the rest of the army is fine. But at the top, there are challenges particularly the command,” said Dr Thabane. “An agreement is going to be reached to shuffle that command and the army will be OK.”-Voice of America


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