Court to hear LPC sus­pen­sion chal­lenge

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

THE High Court will to­day hear a case in which the le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) wants its sus­pen­sion lifted by the In­de­pen­dent elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC).

The elec­toral body sus­pended the LPC from its ac­tiv­i­ties on 7 April this year be­cause of the party’s in­fight­ing.

The IEC had ap­proached the High Court and ob­tained an in­terim or­der al­low­ing it to sus­pend the party. The Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP) was also sus­pended due to the same rea­son.

The LPC was, how­ever, quick to ap­proach the court on 13 April to chal­lenge the sus­pen­sion.

On Mon­day this week, At­tor­ney Qhale­hang let­sika pressed for the case to be heard this week be­cause the IEC had ap­proached the court on an ur­gent ba­sis.

He also told the High Court that the case had to be de­cided speed­ily be­cause rea­sons for sus­pen­sion given by IEC Di­rec­tor of elec­tions, lethu­sang Nt­sike, were not jus­ti­fied.

“It has been the prac­tice that if a party has two fac­tions, one per­son is iden­ti­fied from one fac­tion and an­other from a dif­fer­ent fac­tion, to rep­re­sent the party in IEC ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Now to bar a po­lit­i­cal party from par­tic­i­pat­ing in IEC ac­tiv­i­ties where all par­ties par­tic­i­pate is the same as mak­ing that party die a nat­u­ral death,” he said.

At­tor­ney let­sika fur­ther said the Iec’s de­ci­sion to rush to court for the in­terim or­der was a clear in­di­ca­tion of abuse of process.

“The court process here has been abused. We filed our an­swer­ing pa­pers on 13 April but up to now, there are no re­ply­ing pa­pers from the ap­pli­cants and yet they say this mat­ter is ur­gent,” he said.

Pre­sid­ing judge, Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi, then said the case would be heard to­day.

“The heads of ar­gu­ment should be filed by 4:30pm on Tues­day and the mat­ter will be heard on Thurs­day, 28th April,” the judge said.

Both the LPC and MFP are part of the seven-party gov­ern­ment. The other par­ties are the Demo­cratic Congress, le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy, Ba­sotho Congress Party, and Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party.

The coali­tion came to power af­ter the Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions.

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