King rejected call for council meeting

King rejected call for council meeting

MASERU – HIS Majesty King Letsie III rejected attempts by the Council of State to call an urgent meeting to advise him on the prime minister’s proposal to dissolve parliament.
The request by the Council of State to meet had been made by Advocate Tumisang Mosotho who is a member of the council by virtue of being president of the Law Society of Lesotho.
Mosotho wrote to the King on March 2. The letter was signed by nine officials of the 14-member council.

His Majesty responded on March 7 through his senior private secretary, Monehela Posholi, who is also secretary to the Council of State.
Posholi said he had consulted the King after receiving the letter.

“His Majesty included your submission among a number of factors that were already under consideration towards a final determination on the advice that had been tendered by Rt. Hon The Prime Minister (Pakalitha Mosisili) on the 1st March 2017 in relation to the motion of no-confidence in the Government of Lesotho passed by the National Assembly,” Posholi said.

“Having carefully considered all factors, His Majesty decided, in the interest of national unity and to avoid possible constitutional crises, to accede to the advice of the Rt. Hon The Prime Minister for the dissolution of Parliament in preparation for the holding of elections.”

“On further reflection, His Majesty deemed it not prudent to convene a meeting of the Council of State as you had requested,” Posholi said.
“We sincerely hope that you will understand and appreciate the predicament that His Majesty faced.”

His Majesty’s rejection of the request for the council to meet came amid fierce lobbying by opposition parties to refuse Mosisili’s advice. Soon after losing the vote of no confidence last Wednesday Mosisili had advised the King to dissolve parliament.

As the King was considering the advice opposition leaders visited his office on Wednesday to lobby him to reject the advice.
They are said to have told His Majesty that there was no need to dissolve parliament because their coalition had enough numbers to form a government without going to an election.
Mosisili then went to meet the King again on Friday. Sources close to the issue say it was only after that second meeting that the King acceded to the prime minister’s advice.
He is said to have then told the prime minister to bring fresh legal instruments on Monday so he can sign them.

thepost understands that even as there was the back and forth between the King and the prime minister, the opposition was lobbying some members of the Council of State to push for a meeting.
Meanwhile the government side was determined to make sure that the matter did not go to the council because it did not think there would be enough support for Mosisili’s decision.
The election date is expected to be announced either today or Friday, although there is already speculation that it could be the first last week of May or the first week of June.

Staff Reporter

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