MPs rebel

MPs rebel

MASERU-THE battle for the Deputy Speaker of Parliament has exposed the deep divisions within the government.

Events in Parliament this week have shown that some MPs within the ruling coalition are singing from a different hymn book and could sabotage Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s fledgling government.
With just a few weeks in office, the government finds itself at odds with a group of MPs who are aggrieved after they were side-lined from ministerial posts.

Those MPs showed their discontent on Monday when they voted with the opposition against a motion to remove the Deputy Speaker Teboho Lehloenya.

The government claims to have the support of 96 of the 120 MPs, with the opposition controlling the remaining 24.
However, the voting pattern on the motion to remove Lehloenya told a totally different story.

The government won with 58 votes of the 107 MPs who attended the session. The opposition, which supported Lehloenya, had 48 votes while one was spoilt. This indicates that a significant number of MPs the government claims to be in its corner voted with the opposition.
This trend continued yesterday during the election of a deputy speaker to replace Lehloenya.

Out of the 110 MPs present 61 voted for Lebohang Ramohlanka, who was the government’s preferred choice. Former Health Minister Kaya Nyapane, the opposition’s nominee, got 48 votes. One ballot was spoilt.
It is telling that Nyapane and Ramohlanka, both from the All Basotho Convention (ABC), were vying for the same post.

Although it is not clear which government MPs voted with the opposition there are strong indications that they could be disgruntled ABC MPs who are unhappy with the coalition.

It’s reported that as many as 32 ABC MPs are hostile to the new government.
Some have openly criticised the coalition with the Democratic Congress (DC) while others are bitter that they were not appointed ministers.
Some are still sore about former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s ousting.

There are also some who are vehemently opposed to the inclusion of the Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) in the government.
All these MPs with different grievances are said to have coalesced to fight Dr Majoro’s government.

So far two ABC MPs have crossed to the Alliance for Democrats (AD).
There are unconfirmed reports that several others might follow in the next few weeks. Last week Mooki Sello, the Bobatsi MP who has just joined the AD, told thepost that between 26 and 32 ABC MPs would be following him to former Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki’s party.

Sello said some of the MPs were still consulting their constituencies.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that there are fractures within the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and some of its six MPs have not warmed up to the new government.

The source of the friction also appears to be the government positions some were eying when the party joined the coalition.
Last night thepost heard there are also tensions within the BNP as well.
Mosito Moqhekoana, the Prime Minister’s spokesman, said those accusing Dr Majoro of betraying them are missing the broader picture.

Moqhekoana said Dr Majoro was only trying to balance the interests of different parties so that he could have a united government.

Staff Reporter

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