Deal done

Deal done

Staff Reporter

MASERU – A faction of the Democratic Congress (DC) and the All Basotho Convention (ABC) are today expected to sign an agreement to form the next coalition government.
The agreement was finalised yesterday afternoon following a marathon meeting between the secretary generals of the two parties.
ABC secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, took the agreement to ABC leader Thomas Thabane in Ficksburg for final approval at around 3pm.
Thabane approved the agreement.

A joint press conference that had been scheduled for 5pm at Victoria Hotel was however abruptly cancelled without explanation. Ntsekele later told thepost that this was due to a “slight glitch”.

“What you can say for sure is that the agreement has been done. It was finalised today,” Ntsekele said.
“We will surely sign the agreement tomorrow or soon but the agreement is there.”
The DC’s deputy secretary general Refiloe Litjobo confirmed that the deal was ready but refused to give further details.
By late last night DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki and his team were still locked in meetings to come up with a strategy to be followed after the deal has been signed.
Moleleki and the DC’s national executive committee have ganged up against party leader Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili whom they suspended last week.
Now they have called a special conference on Saturday where it is expected that they will confirm Mosisili’s expulsion from the party.
A defiant Mosisili is unlikely to attend that conference as he has already called his own for December 2. The battle is now on which of the conferences will have legal standing to make binding decisions.

Under the DC constitution both the committee and Mosisili, as leader, have authority to call a special conference.
Although the agreement is between the ABC and DC, it makes a provision for the formation of a grand coalition that Moleleki, has been advocating since he fell out with his leader Mosisili.

It makes an open invitation to all political parties, including those that are in the current government to join the new coalition.
The ABC is coming into the deal with its partners the Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL).
“That part has not changed, those two remain our partners as ABC,” Ntsekele said.
thepost was however told last night that there were some reservations in the DC and the ABC about including the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) in the new government.  The LCD has a sour relationship with the ABC, BNP, RCL and the Moleleki faction of the coalition.
The ABC and its partners have always blamed the LCD for the collapse of the previous coalition government. Moleleki and his faction believe that the LCD wields too much influence on Mosisili.

After the deal has been signed the new battle will now be fought in parliament where the parties will have to push a no-confidence-vote against Mosisili.
But that might be an uphill task given that the parliament was this week adjourned indefinitely.
Mosisili can still prorogue parliament for three months before calling a fresh election.
But it would seem that there are already moves to whittle down the opposition’s numbers in parliament, supposedly as a counter against the motion to push out Mosisili.
Ten MPs have been asked to show cause why they cannot be suspended from parliament for failing to attend sessions.

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