MPS dis­miss DC split ‘ru­mours’

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

A CLIQUE of Demo­cratic Congress ( DC) Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS) is said to be an­gry with party leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili over his de­ci­sion not to ap­point them cabi­net min­is­ters fol­low­ing his elec­tion as pre­mier last month.

The MPS are now al­legedly con­sid­er­ing form­ing a splin­ter party and get­ting into an al­liance with the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) and any other party that might be in­ter­ested in form­ing a new coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to DC sources who spoke anony­mously to the Le­sotho Times for fear of vic­tim­iza­tion, the MPS had be­lieved Dr Mo­sisili’s re­turn as pre­mier guar­an­teed them min­is­te­rial posts since some of them had been in his cabi­net be­fore or were mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion’s ‘ shadow cabi­net’ in the Eighth Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, af­ter fail­ing to win an out­right ma­jor­ity in the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions, the DC formed an al­liance with six other par­ties in or­der to ac­cu­mu­late the 61-plus seats needed to form a gov­ern­ment.

The coali­tion also agreed to share min­istries, which meant some of the DC’S so-called heavy­weights could not be ac­com­mo­dated in cabi­net. This, ac­cord­ing to the DC sources, is where the prob­lem started.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­sid­ers, a num­ber of meet­ings had al­ready been held by the “dis­grun­tled” MPS to plot their floor-cross­ing in par­lia­ment once the au­gust house opens.

The dis­gruntle­ment among the DC MPS, the sources fur­ther claim, was the rea­son for the de­lay in the re-open­ing of the Ninth Par­lia­ment os­ten­si­bly be­cause of fears of the floor-cross­ing and end of Dr Mo­sisili’s gov­ern­ment.

How­ever, DC Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Se­mano Seka­tle, who was also al­legedly gun­ning for a min­is­te­rial post but was not so lucky to land one, laughed off the al­le­ga­tions yes­ter­day, in­sist­ing the claims were part of a plot to desta­bilise the party.

“I am not part of any mission to form a new po­lit­i­cal party and I know there has been wild spec­u­la­tion about that is­sue, but those are just false ac­cu­sa­tions,” Mr Seka­tle said.

“We de­cided, as a party, to let new of­fi­cials takeover min­is­te­rial posts so that we avoid what crit­ics have been say­ing in your news­pa­pers and over ra­dios that we are a party char­ac­ter­ized by re­cy­cling dead­wood. Your news­pa­per specif­i­cally told us that we are dead­wood and we de­cided to lis­ten to the crit­i­cism and not to bring old faces back into of­fice.”

Mr Seka­tle also strongly dis­missed claims that some of the MPS were not happy that some of the min­is­ters picked from the six part­ners had per­formed dis­mally in the elec­tion.

“We can’t be un­happy over who makes it to cabi­net as it is the pre­rog­a­tive of the Prime Min­is­ter and he has made a good choice as our party now has brought into of­fice faces peo­ple didn’t ex­pect to see,” said Seka­tle.

DC Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) MP, Re­filoe Litjobo, also dis­missed claims that there was bit­ter­ness among some of the MPS, par­tic­u­larly those who had been mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion ‘shadow cabi­net’ in the short­lived Eighth Par­lia­ment.

“When our leader was be­ing in­au­gu­rated Prime Min­is­ter (on 17 March) some of our own peo­ple, from within our party, were busy point­ing fin­gers and spread­ing un­founded al­le­ga­tions that some of us would be form­ing a splin­ter party. What is shock­ing is the fact that this is com­ing from within our party. We do not nec­es­sar­ily know what could be the ex­act mo­tive driv­ing this smear-cam­paign against cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als,” said Mr Litjobo.

“This is caus­ing con­fu­sion among our mem­bers as they were sup­posed to be fo­cus­ing on con­sol­i­dat­ing the party af­ter the elec­tions to en­sure we grow as an or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

The party’s pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary, Se­ri­a­long qoo, also refuted claims that he was amongst the MPS spear­head­ing the for­ma­tion of a new po­lit­i­cal party.

DC Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Se­mano Seka­tle

DC MP Re­filoe Litjobo

DC Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary Se­ri­a­long Qoo

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