Is Coalition Agreement the end or beginning?
THE recent unveiling of the Democratic Congress-led (DC) Coalition Agreement has not only fulfilled the long standing expectation of many keen observers but created new questions too. Key among the questions created is whether this marks the end or the beginning for the seven-party coalition?
This article does not seek to provide any answers to this difficult question except to follow the established principle of previous columns which is to contribute to the public debate on national issues by problematising, simplifying and explaining to ensure a deeper, more robust, critical and informed engagement.
It is widely rumoured that there is discontent within the ranks of the largest coalition partner, DC. This discontent is said to be caused by the manner in which the negotiations to form the coalition ended where the general principle of give and take had not only dented the expectations of many within the DC but had, in ambiguous way, side-lined one of the conspicuous factions within the party.
The magnitude of the discontent is described by some as that which has the potential to split the lead coalition partner leading to an alternative coalition government.
This is, therefore, seen by some as the beginning of the end of the coalition even before it starts. On the other hand, it is seen as the beginning of another coalition government. What remains unclear though is the number of Members of Parliament (MPS) involved.
Though the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) remains a king maker and that its change or maintenance of loyalty determines the survival of the government, albeit with other smaller parties, its limited power will always lead to a slim majority.
The only strongly supported coalition government will be that which includes the two big parties, DC and All Basotho Convention, or one resulting from a serious split between either of them.
This means that unless such a contemplated split is a serious one, what it may bring will equally be vulnerable. While this issue cannot be justifiably ignored in this debate, there is another side of the same coin.
Though from a different perspective, there is a similarly interesting “end-beginning” narrative ignited by the signing of the coalition programme. Other people believe that as is the case when it is announced that a baby
THE leaders of the parties which make up government at the Coalition Agreement signing ceremony last Friday.