Push national interests
Lesotho’s opposition parties are adamant that they will push a vote-of-no-confidence in the government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili when Parliament re-opens tomorrow.
This could set in motion a bruising political battle.
The opposition is arguing they now have the numbers in Parliament to form the next government.
Former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Mosisili’s former deputy in the Democratic Congress (DC) party, Monyane Moleleki, and a collection of other like-minded politicians have since cobbled up a deal to form the next government.
Mosisili, who has in the past indicated he will not allow himself to be pushed out of power through a no-confidence vote, appears determined to hang on to power.
He says when push comes to shove, he will call a fresh election within 90 days.
Lesotho’s political parties appear to have accepted the inevitability of elections. They have graciously accepted we could be heading for fresh polls.
We have travelled this route before.
The elections, the second in 24 months, would be the clearest indication that something is broken in our national politics. It would show there are clear fault-lines that must be urgently fixed. Unless we fix those fault-lines, the era of endless elections in Lesotho will be with us for the long haul. That would be tragic for Lesotho.
However, these fault-lines will not be fixed by holding elections.
They will be fixed through comprehensive constitutional, security sector and civil service reforms.
The unstable nature of Lesotho’s politics is a real cause for worry for us. It is not good for business. It is not good for investors.
That is because elections on their own are closely associated with political uncertainty.
But the reality is that the looming election will mean the whole reform agenda will be put on the back-burner as politicians jostle for power.
It is the singular pursuit of power, and all its trappings that appears to drive a politician in Lesotho. The interests of the citizen comes a distant second.
In our opinion, Lesotho needs to deal with the reforms first to fix that which is ailing our country.
While it may answer who has the numbers to justify forming the next government, we are convinced that an election on its own will not be the panacea to Lesotho’s ills.
Of course, the opposition is within its rights to push a vote-of-no-confidence against Mosisili. It is part of the options available to them.
How the Speaker of Parliament deals with that issue will be a test of her impartiality and professionalism.
But whatever happens in Parliament, MPs must put Lesotho first.
They have an obligation to discharge their duties in line with the mandate they received from the people.
The dignity of Parliament must also be safeguarded. It would be a pity if rowdy elements seek to disrupt the business of Parliament.
Of course, Parliament is not a church. We expect robust debate in that august House.
This must however be done within the rules of Parliament.
The opposition and the government must therefore be driven by national interest to push what is in the best interests of Lesotho and Basotho.
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