Articulate your development agenda
THE Constitutional Court this week ruled that Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili did not violate the law when he advised King Letsie III to dissolve parliament and call a fresh election on June 3.
Advocate Haae Phoofolo, and two others, had instituted a case in the Constitutional Court challenging the King’s decision to dissolve parliament.
The three also wanted the Constitutional Court to stop the government from using public funds to foot the M200 million election bill arguing the money had not been approved by Parliament.
If the Constitutional Court had ruled in Adv Phoofolo and his colleagues’ favour, the election would have been dead in the water.
Much more worryingly, it would also have meant a continuation of the political deadlock for Lesotho. That would likely have devastating consequences for this country as it would breed political stagnation for Lesotho.
It would also mean the key political reforms that Lesotho desperately need would be put on hold until God knows when. Now that this matter has been dispensed with pronto, this should allow both the government and the opposition to focus on the election campaign without distraction.
As we have argued in previous editorials, Prime Minister Mosisili acted within the confines of the law when he advised the King to dissolve parliament. The fact he refused to allow himself to be shown theexit door in parliament was also constitutional and part of the game of politics.
Mosisili did nothing illegal when he advised the King to dissolve parliament.
The opposition must accept this fact and move on. Even as this court case was being presented to court, we are sure the opposition were aware of the inevitability of elections. That is why they never stopped campaigning.
We believe a free, fair election on June 3 could probably be the only way to unlock the question of who should rule this country, lest we get thrown into a constitutional morass.
In our opinion Lesotho will not be able to move forward until the issue of legitimacy has been resolved.
That question should be dealt with decisively on June 3.
Now that the Constitutional Court has cleared the way for the election, the opposition and the governing parties must put their nose on the plough and get on with the business of campaigning. That is what matters.
We expect a robust exchange of ideas on the political platform. Political parties must lay their plans on how they intend to take this country forward.
We are confident that Basotho are smart people who have no appetite for insults on the political turf. They want a campaign programme in which politicians articulate their developmental agenda.
Of course, we are aware that Lesotho might not possess the same wealth as the United Arab Emirates which has used its vast oil wealth to power massive developmental projects.
But we have a fairly educated population and decent infrastructure. We are also blessed with good weather and abundant sources of water.
We are convinced that given the country’s stunning beauty, politicians can do more to transform this country into a “tourist Mecca”.
That Lesotho has lagged behind its peers, Swaziland and Botswana, in terms of infrastructure, is totally unacceptable. We think this is an anomaly crying out to be fixed.
But this has happened because we have got our politics wrong. Since independence in 1966, we have been locked in constant political fights while neglecting the developmental agenda.
That must change, come June 3.
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