Newcomers topple ABC stalwarts
. . . as party finalises nomination of candidates
THE All Basotho Convention ( ABC) is working towards finalising its candidates nomination list for the 3 June 2017 parliamentary elections, with some newcomers toppling party stalwarts.
In Hololo constituency, former teacher Tlokotsi Manyooko beat Mamahele Radebe, who was the incumbent legislator for the ABC in the recently dissolved National Assembly. Mr Manyooko clinched the nomination during a primary election held in the constituency last Sunday.
Another newcomer to the ABC’S candidate nomination list is former Development Planning minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro who is vying for the Thetsane constituency.
The deadline for political parties contesting in the elections to submit their candidates nomination lists to the Independent Electoral Commission ( IEC) is 19 April 2017.
Parties are also obligated to draw up a list of individuals for proportional representation seats allocation to be submitted to the IEC.
ABC spokesperson, Tefo Mapesela, this week told the Lesotho Times that the majority of the party’s 38 constituency legislators in the just dissolved Ninth Parliament had retained their candidature for the snap polls.
He said some of the candidates had been nominated unanimously in their constituencies, adding that the process was still ongoing.
“We will show off all our party’s candidates when we go to the IEC for the final nomination process on 19 April,” Mr Mapesela said.
“At the moment, we don’t have the full details about every constituency since some have not yet completed their primary elections.”
He stressed that the candidates chosen by the constituencies so far were final and could not be changed by the party hierarchy.
“The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) cannot change the outcome of these primaries since the people in the grassroots have spoken.”
However, sources within the party who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity said candidates in some constituencies were yet to be approved by the NEC because the results of their primary elections had been challenged by party members citing irregularities.
An ABC leadership conference held last month had proposed that the 38 former legislators contest in the upcoming elections without undergoing the primary polls route.
ABC chairperson Motlohi Maliehe had insisted it was not a directive to the grassroots structures but a proposal to reward the legislators’ loyalty.
The ABC won 40 constituency seats during the 28 February 2015 snap elections.
However, the ABC’S former deputy leader Tlali Khasu and former Motimposo constituency legislator Pitso Maisa jumped ship and formed the Truth Reconciliation Unity party in January this year.
Mr Maliehe also pointed out that the MPS had sacrificed their five-year tenure midway by supporting the parliamentary no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government on 1 March 2017.
The ABC and its other opposition alliance partners, Alliance of Democrats, Basotho National Party and Reformed Congress of
Lesotho, sponsored the no-confidence motion with the intention of forming government thereafter.
However, Dr Mosisili advised King Letsie III to dissolve parliament and call for elections soon after the vote. His Majesty dis- solved parliament on 6 March 2017 and proclaimed 3 June 2017 as the date for the polls.