Drama in Parliament

Drama in Parliament

 

MASERU -THERE was drama in Parliament on Monday after MPs demanded that the Speaker of Parliament, Sephiri Motanyane, allow motions that were filed seven months ago to be passed in the House.
Immediately after the prayer, the MP for Mosalemane constituency, Tsoinyane Rapapa, stood and requested to speak.
He said sometime in March he brought to the house a motion that would allow MPs to vote secretly in Parliament.

“But even today that motion has not been passed in parliament,” Rapapa said.
“I tried to remind the Speaker back in June about the same motion but I was promised that the business committee was still working on that motion.

“Is it true that the motion is still in the hands of that committee?” he asked.
Rapapa said he wants that motion to be passed in Parliament like other motions.

His address was met with vociferous approval from the opposition benches.
The MP’s question came a day after another opposition MP for Malingoaneng, Serialong Qoo, demanded answers from the Deputy Speaker about the motion of no-confidence that was filed in Parliament in June.

Qoo said the motion was still in the hands of the Speaker and his deputy, Teboho Lehloenya, months after it was filed.
But Lehloenya hit back at Qoo saying he was not responsible for the motion because he was not on duty when it was launched.

He said Motanyane was in charge of parliamentary business when the motion was filed.
The opposition MPs then demanded to speak on a point of order but were blocked by Motanyane.

That triggered further commotion in the House as the opposition MPs shouted at the Speaker saying they wanted to see all the motions being passed in Parliament.
One MP shouted that “even that motion of no confidence should come” before Parliament.

The noise continued uncontrollably until the Speaker sent a chilling warning that he would throw out of the House all the MPs.
But they all told him that would not happen.

They told the Speaker that if “we go out, you will follow us”.

Parliamentary business then descended into a farce with MPs speaking all at once.
They did not even want the business for that day to go on.

The Minister of Sports Dr Mahali Phamotse was addressing Parliament but the MPs appeared disinterested.
The MPs said what Phamotse was talking about was not what the nation was interested in at the present moment.

The MP for Qhalasi Palo Leteetee said Motanyane was deliberately going out of order.
“You have been in Parliament for years Mr Speaker and you know when and how a person is out of order. But you are deliberately being out of order yourself,” Leteetee said.
He said it was not good that the Speaker did not want to listen to people who are standing on a point of order.

The MP for Thabana-Morena Selibe Mochoboroane also seconded Leteetee as he quoted some sections in parliament’s standing orders.
After Mochoboroane read the standing order which says “no one can be against somebody who stands on a point of order”, Motanyane allowed all those who wanted to talk to do so.
Qoo said the motion filed by Rapapa should be passed in Parliament.

“Even that motion of no confidence we want (it as well). We have been waiting for so long and we want those motions,” Qoo said.
Mochoboroane, who is a member of parliament’s business committee, said they had finished working on the motion.

He said he was also wondering why the motion was not being passed in Parliament.
Rapapa filed a motion earlier this year seeking to whittle down the Prime Minister’s powers to dissolve parliament when he loses a vote of no-confidence.

If passed, the new law would allow MPs to directly elect a new Prime Minister in parliament without subjecting the country to fresh elections.
The motion came at a time when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is facing a severe threat to his grip on power following a bitter factional wrangle within his own All Basotho Convention party.
The opposition and a faction opposed to Thabane have accused Motanyane of stalling on the motion to protect Thabane, a charge he has denied.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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