We will concede defeat: ABC
ALL Basotho Convention ( ABC) secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, last night said his party would concede defeat if it fails to woo other parties into an alliance in the next two weeks.
Mr Ntsekele also said party leader and outgoing prime minister, Thomas Thabane, would personally accept the results and address ABC supporters to urge them to embrace the outcome if the ABC failed to woo other parties to its side.
Even though Democratic Congress (DC) leader Pakalitha Mosisili and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’S Mothetjoa Metsing announced a coalition with a majority 65 seats yesterday, including other smaller parties in the 120-member parliament, Mr Ntsekele said the legal timeframe to form a coalition was 14 days and things could change within that period.
“The 14 days are not over and we can still talk to other parties to form a coalition notwithstanding what the others have announced. Parties can still alter allegiances within this period and it remains possible to create any coalition.
“If after 14 days we don’t master a majority, we will accept any outcome.”
The ABC won 46 of the 120 parliamentary seats, while the Democratic Congress (DC) led with 47. The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), and Basotho National Party had 12 and seven seats, respectively.
All in all, the congress parties, including the Basotho Congress Party (BCP) and the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), who won a seat apiece, have 61 seats, a spectre that makes it an uphill task for the ABC to overturn the coalition announced by Dr Mosisili yesterday.
“What I can assure you is that if it becomes clear that we cannot form a coalition, my leader, Dr Thabane, will accept the results and definitely announce his decision to ABC supporters and Basotho at large in his own time,” Mr Ntsekele said.
The ABC secretary general, who won the Tsikoane constituency, admitted that his party had so far been unsuccessful in getting other parties with which to form an alliance.
“After the announcement of results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the ABC, like other parties, started to try and influence other parties to form a coalition but failed to reach the expected numbers.
“We only succeeded to have the Basotho National Party and Reformed Congress of Lesotho,” Mr Ntsekele said.
However, he emphasised that the die was not cast until after the expiry of 14 days. The ABC could still cobble up the numbers within that period, he said, without indicating how that was realistically possible in light of Dr Mosisili’s seemingly unassailable coalition.
Mr Ntsekele nevertheless said the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) which has two seats, had not signed Dr Mosisili’s coalition pact despite an announcement that it was part of his coalition.
“The PFD has not signed up to the alli-
ance of the congress parties and may consider working with us. But if the PFD decides to take the opportunity of going with the congress alliance, the ABC won’t bear any grudge,” he said.
He denied allegations that Dr Thabane had ordered the ABC to challenge the results of Machache constituency won by DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki saying there was no reason to dispute the vote.
Meanwhile, RCL leader Keketso Rantšo says she is grateful that her new party managed to get two seats within just two months of being formed before the weekend’s snap elections.
“We thank all Basotho who voted for the RCL and enabled us to have these two seats within two months of our formation. We believe with more time, we could have done even better….,” Ms Rantso told the Lesotho Times.
“The elections were smooth, free and fair and we accept the results.”
Ms Rantšo congratulated those who had won the right to form government and urged them to put Basotho first before their own personal interests.