BCP sued over election

BCP sued over election

MASERU – FIVE members of the Basotho Congress Party (BCP) have lodged an urgent application against the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) challenging committee election results.
The aggrieved members claimed that the party’s constitution was violated.
The five members have asked the High Court to nullify the results of the party’s annual general conference held on January 26 to 27 in Mafeteng.

Mohau Maphephe and four others told the court in their papers that out of 80 constituencies, only five were able to participate in the election. The other 75 were side-lined, they said.
They told the court that the manner in which the members of the outgoing NEC conducted themselves and the election violated provisions of the constitution of their party.

They further asked the court to set aside resolutions made by the Annual General Conference as irregular and unlawful.
Court papers show that during the conference the constituencies were expected to nominate and elect representatives of the constituencies who would be attending the annual general conference on 27-29 January 2019.
The applicants argue that the election where only five constituencies participated on its own has rendered the election unconstitutional.
The court heard that on December 4, 2018 the NEC received a report from the Secretary General in terms of which she indicated that the total membership of the party stood at 1 297 as at November 2018.

The annual general conference would not be entitled to pass valid resolutions or elect a new NEC given that the majority of constituencies did not attend the conference, the court heard.

Only Likhoele, Thabana-Moea, Thaba-Phechela, Rothe and Matelile constituencies took part in the election.
Furthermore, applicants explained that NEC failed to comply with its obligations under the constitution resulting in the elections being irregular, null and void.

They told the court that a report by the party’s secretary general that seven constituencies took part in the election was incorrect while it is clear that only five complied with the directives of the NEC and the constitution.
Maphephe said when he realised that most constituencies failed to comply with the directives, he wrote to the secretary general to request that the annual general conference be postponed.

He said the most irregular thing that happened was the secretary general not being told, yet whether or not the constituencies submitted their reports complied with the requirements of the constitution.
He argued that it is only the Secretary General and the leader who verified whether there had been compliance with the requirements of the constitution or not.

He said the fact that out of 80 constituencies only five complied with the requirements meant that it would not be possible to hold the annual general conference.

Maphephe said even some members of the party wrote to the secretary general alerting her of the invalidity of the constituencies’ representatives.

He said both the BCP leader and the chairperson refused further debate on the matter and indicated that conference be held.
Currently, the irregularly elected NEC has taken over the management of the affairs of the BCP, Maphephe said.

Senate Sekotlo

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