Deal with key issues

Deal with key issues

THE Democratic Congress (DC) national executive committee meets this weekend for its annual leadership conference amid widening fissures among party leaders.

The party is going through turbulence with two main factions tussling for control. One faction is backing Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili while another is backing his deputy Monyane Moleleki.

The squabbles, which are now playing out in the open, are damaging the party’s image and raising serious questions about the very survival of the coalition government, hardly 20 months after it was ushered into power.

We believe the leadership conference can give the DC executive committee an opportunity to introspect and chart the way forward.

The survival of the coalition government will likely hinge on whether the DC party leadership can be able to meet behind closed doors and thrash out a “peaceful settlement”. At the end of the conference the two factions must smoke the peace pipe.

As the biggest partner in the coalition government, the DC must provide a sense of stability for the government. Instability and chaos within the DC will likely have a multiplier effect on structures of governance downstream.

Given the events of the last few weeks it is patently clear that the DC NEC members will likely head into a stormy conference. The leadership must brace for explosive debates on the health of the party.

Yet, when all has been said, the conference should provide a platform for the party to heal.

Behind the scenes, the leadership must tackle their differences until they find each other.

Mosisili, as party leader, must provide true leadership in bridging differences among the warring factions. As party leader the buck stops with him. He must be the glue that unites the party.

The party must leave the conference in a much stronger position than before. That will only be possible when all senior party executives pull in the same direction and stop the current cat-fights.

However, we believe the party leadership must also provide a platform for unimpeded debate on issues. Only when the party allows open debate can true healing be achieved.

In our opinion, key among the issues the leadership must tackle is the issue of succession and factionalism.

The party must pronounce itself clearly on the matter which has been a real thorn in the flesh for the DC since its inception.

The whole brouhaha that we are seeing in the DC revolves around the matter of individuals trying to position themselves for a strike at the country’s biggest job. Yet the party has not clearly defined how and when the succession issue will be dealt with.

The DC must come up with a clear time-table surrounding the whole issue of succession. Unless it does so, it risks going through this cycle of turbulence along factional lines until the next election.

We also believe it would be in the party’s interests to start toying with the issue of term limits both in the party and the government. The modern trend is for any leader to serve two five-year terms.

That will ensure leadership renewal.

It also ensures there is an element of predictability to allow proper planning and hand-over of power.

There is no doubt that a stable government is a key requirement for national development. The country needs a stable political environment that will allow the economy to flourish.

An unstable DC will push Lesotho to yet another election which we think would be a sheer waste of public funds.

Under the current electoral model, a fresh election would likely yield the same hung Parliament leading to yet another coalition government.

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