LCD re­jects DC unity of­fer

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Bongiwe Zih­langu

DEMO­CRATIC Congress (DC) leader, Pakalitha Mo­sisili, has said the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) — his party’s prospec­tive part­ner in a coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter next month’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions — has strongly op­posed “the idea of us vot­ing to­gether” to de­feat the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC).

Dr Mo­sisili made the re­marks on Sun­day while ad­dress­ing a DC cam­paign rally in Mokhot­long, which was at­tended by party sup­port­ers from Mokhot­long, Senqu, Bo­batsi and Malin­goa­neng con­stituen­cies.

Ac­cord­ing to the DC leader, he had raised the sub­ject of the par­ties vot­ing to­gether in or­der to pre­vail over the ABC, their big­gest ri­val in the polls, but the sug­ges­tion had been turned down by LCD leader, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Metsing.

The DC is a break­away of the LCD and was formed in Fe­bru­ary 2012 when Dr Mo­sisili, who was party leader and pre­mier at the time, fell-out with the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and de­cided to jump ship and form a new party.

How­ever, the DC failed to se­cure the re­quired ma­jor­ity seats to form a gov­ern­ment, and was ousted by an ABC, LCD and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) al­liance, end­ing his 15year ten­ure as pre­mier.

How­ever, fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment mid­way through its fiveyear term, Le­sotho goes to an early poll on 28 Fe­bru­ary this year, hence Dr Mo­sisili’s sug­ges­tion to forge a united front with the LCD to en­sure the ABC does not re­turn to power.

“I sug­gested that where the ABC won a con­stituency in 2012, and one of our two par­ties had come sec­ond, we should en­cour­age our sup­port­ers to vote for that party to en­sure the ABC does not re­tain that seat. How­ever, Ntate Metsing and his peo­ple are op­posed to that,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

In­stead, Dr Mo­sisili added, the LCD lead­er­ship had told him that each party should vote on its own and that “we will then cob­ble-up our num­bers post the 28 Fe­bru­ary elec­tions”.

“They are say­ing we should vote as in­di­vid­ual en­ti­ties, and then come to­gether af­ter the elec­tions to form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“So, we ac­cepted what the LCD wants and will be vot­ing ex­clu­sively as the DC. We will then com­bine our num­bers af­ter the elec­tion.”

The DC and LCD have come out in pub­lic on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, along­side other po­lit­i­cal par­ties founded on congress ide­olo­gies, namely the Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC), Baso-

Con­tacted for com­ment yes­ter­day, LCD spokesper­son, Se­libe Mo­choboroane, said what Dr Mo­sisili had said was true but in­sisted there was no sin­is­ter mo­tive behind the party’s de­ci­sion to go it alone.

“It is true what he is say­ing but it should be noted that it was com­ing from a good place. If we were to vote in that fash­ion, it would neg­a­tively af­fect the growth of the LCD,” Mr Mo­choboroane said.

“Mak­ing that sug­ges­tion meant ham­per­ing the growth of the LCD, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that, this time around, the LCD could win the con­stituen­cies we pre­vi­ously lost. It would also be un­fair to LCD vot­ers and we’d never know what the LCD was ca­pa­ble of and whether it has the po­ten­tial to win or not.”

Mr Mo­choboroane fur­ther main­tained be­cause the DC al­ready had 41 con­stituen­cies com­pared to the LCD’S 12 “vot­ing in that fash­ion would ad­versely af­fect our chances of gain­ing more PR seats”.

Mean­while, some po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts have con­demned the re-union of congress par­ties, la­belling it su­per­fi­cial and “a mar­riage of con­ve­nience built on sand”.

Le­sotho Coun­cil of Non-gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tions (LCN) Di­rec­tor, Se­abata Mot­samai, says if the congress par­ties suc­ceed in oust­ing ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane from power, they would “even­tu­ally turn against each other”.

“This is just a mar­riage of con­ve­nience. They will even­tu­ally turn against each when they get to the other side,” Mr Mot­samai says. “This is an al­liance built on sand and could col­lapse any day.”

Tes­ti­mony to that, Mr Mot­samai as­serts, is that un­like the united force the congress par­ties were dis­play­ing when they were seek­ing to top­ple Dr Tha­bane via a no-con­fi­dence vote in par­lia­ment last year, “now they don’t seem to be as close”.

“For in­stance, when they go out to cam­paign for the up­com­ing elec­tions, they do not sup­port each other at all; it’s a case of ev­ery man for him­self,” Mr Mot­samai says.

“If that was not the case and the re-union was gen­uine, they would sup­port each other’s elec­tion cam­paigns to boost the prospects of the smaller par­ties to win con­stituen­cies.”

Another an­a­lyst, Tsikoane Peshoane of Trans­for­ma­tion Re­source Cen­tre (TRC), echoes sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments, adding if the re-union was gen­uine, the DC would “dis­solve it­self and re­turn to the LCD”, with the LCD fol­low­ing suit and re­turn­ing to the BCP “and come out under one um­brella”.

LCD spokesper­son Se­libe Mo­choboroane dances with Famo Artiste Lekase dur­ing a DC rally in Ha Foso.

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