DC rejects Thabane deal

DC rejects Thabane deal

MASERU-THE Democratic Congress (DC) should not be part of any coalition government that includes Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
That is the message from the DC’s 79 constituency committees to the party’s leaders and MPs. The constituency delegates told the leaders and MPs at a meeting in Ha-Mabekenyane last Saturday that they don’t want their party to be in a coalition headed by Thabane.

That decision, reached by a consensus vote, is now a resolution that will guide the DC’s negotiations to form a coalition government with the All Basotho Convention (DC).
The DC called the meeting to consult supporters on how the party should handle any proposed coalition. The meeting followed weeks of preliminary talks between the DC and the ABC over a possible coalition.

“They said we can discuss a coalition as long as Thabane is not involved at the leadership level,” said DC deputy leader Motlalentoa Letsosa.
“They were clear that they don’t want Thabane to either drive the negotiations or lead the government.”
“That resolution means the DC will discuss a coalition with the ABC as long as Thabane is not involved. We accept that he is a member of the ABC but our people, who are our bosses, are saying he should not be anywhere near the leadership of that coalition.”

Letsosa said the delegates told the meeting that they believe that Thabane cannot be part of the “solution to a problem he created”.
“They said he is to blame for the mess that has happened under his watch as the Prime Minister and therefore cannot lead the next government”.
He said the negotiations with the ABC “had started but had not gone far because we wanted to consult the members first.”
“There have been talks but nothing has been discussed in detail. We have not yet reached a decision. We have just made a proposal and will have another meeting later,” he said.

Professor Nqosa Mahao also confirmed the negotiations with the DC but refused to give details saying “the subject is embargoed”.
The DC’s resolution could however complicate the negotiations because the ABC MPs are split into two factions, those who support the Mahao-led national executive committee and those in Thabane’s camp.

To satisfy its constituencies the DC will have to try to cobble a government with MPs in Mahao’s faction. Thabane is already negotiating his own deal with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).

He is banking on the support of the MPs who include cabinet ministers who have remained loyal to him despite his recent political troubles and power battles that have rocked the ABC.
Meanwhile, there is trouble in the coalition government with Thabane seemingly at odds with the Basotho National Party (BNP), his partner for the past nine years. (See story on Page 20, 21)
The BNP has said it will not support any coalition that includes the LCD.

At the same time the party is suing to block Thabane from proroguing the parliament.
The BNP argues that Thabane is trying to use the Coronavirus crisis to close Parliament so he can duck a vote-of-no-confidence that has been brewing for the past few months.

Majara Molupe

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