DC joins fight against Thabane

DC joins fight against Thabane

MASERU-THE Democratic Congress (DC) says it has joined political parties that are seeking a court order to nullify Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s decision to prorogue Parliament last Friday.
The party’s leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu, told a press conference yesterday that Thabane was seeking to stifle the parliamentary process of passing a vote of no confidence against him.
“We have instructed a lawyer to go to court and sue the Prime Minister who prorogued Parliament under the pretext that there is Coronavirus,” Mokhothu said.
“We, as the DC party, do not agree to the prorogation of parliament.”

He also lashed out at the clandestine manner in which Thabane prorogued Parliament.
“How it was done, we consider it disrespectful of the pillars of governance, especially the pillar which is the office of the King.”
Thabane’s own All Basotho Convention (ABC) party and the Basotho National Party (BNP) have already sued in a bid to nullify and reverse the prorogation.

The Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) leader, Keketso Rantšo, also deposed an affidavit in support of the lawsuit.
Mokhothu said it is “an insult to the King that he was given only two hours to decide on the prorogation”.
He said the King was belittled by Thabane’s telling him to make a decision saying if he did not he would proceed as if the King had signed the legal instruments proroguing Parliament.

Mokhothu said the Coronavirus pandemic which Thabane used as an excuse for the prorogation was just a smokescreen as he sought to run away from the impending vote-of-no-confidence.
He said Thabane is fully aware that a motion that sought to clip his wings was close to being successful.
The constitutional amendment will clip Thabane’s powers to advise the King to dissolve Parliament if he loses a no-confidence vote.
“It required a two-thirds majority to pass that amendment in the National Assembly, which is 80 votes, but it got 93 votes,” Mokhothu said.

The motion has now been passed to the Senate after which it will receive the royal assent and become law.
He said Thabane’s move to prorogue parliament was meant to throttle this so that he continues as the Prime Minister even though he no longer commands the majority in parliament.
“With this prorogation, all Bills tabled in parliament will fall away,” he said.
That would also include the Bill to clip the Prime Minister’s wings.
He said Thabane does not have a choice but to either hand over power in Parliament after losing a vote of no confidence or just advise the King to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections.
“We of the DC are not afraid of going to elections where we will get a fresh mandate from the people,” he said.

Mokhothu said he was shocked on Monday when MPs were not allowed to enter Parliament on account that there was a gazette on prorogation.
He argued that the prorogation will “immediately stop the discussion of the national budget” and the allocation of funds to different sectors.
He also argued that all proceedings of concern including debates on critical laws and Bills will be aborted during the prorogation.

Staff Reporter

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