Ninth parly doomed from the start
THE reconstruction of a crime scene helps to establish or verify some facts, possibilities, clues etc as evidence. The fate of the Ninth Parliament can, as well, be viewed as a scene of a failed parliament whose doom was signaled on the very first day of its inauguration by His Majesty the King.
i. Early signs of doom: Two opposition non-congress parties snubbed a customary welcome assembly by all MPS and Presiding Officers of both Houses to receive the Head of State at a military Guard of Honor.
This is part of parliamentary etiquette extended to the Head of State. They chose to remain in the Chamber. Only the Reformed Congress of Lesotho attended.
At that time, no one sensed that the Ninth Parliament was doomed to end sooner than any other previous parliaments since 1993.
How, without a Shadow Cabinet, the opposition comprising three parties would conduct its business as an opposition showed their preference for an approach of God for us all ( qobola-se`a-cha), where each MP would be at liberty to catch the Speaker’s eye during proceedings.
More often than not, the opposition tended to be agitated during some sittings. There were incidents when some MPS had to be named and ordered to leave the House. This could be a lesson for our parliament to adopt more progressive approaches to parliamentary work.
It deserves to have suitable whippery and use of Speaker’s lists during some proceedings. This could be one major reform move from the old to the 21st century parliamen- tary practice.
The boycott of sittings through stay aways over many days and weeks was their other contemptuous resort to flag their disapproval of either the decisions or powers of Presiding officers.
ii. Signs of fatigue: was a build up to another climax after the return of the exiled leaders.
It is this that even disabled the presentation of the 2017/18 budget. The Ninth Parliament had real ups and downs, culminating in its dissolution.
iv. Numbers only added up: The motion of no confidence passed just because numbers of seats added up well though not up to two thirds of the House. That alone was not like the occupation of Golan Heights by the Israelis during their war with Syria.
The now powerful opposition could not determine the way forward after the motion was carried.
Their next attempts included the use of and firing of unsophisticated scud missiles with a hope to shoot their way back to parliament and probably as a government.
Those scud missiles were effectively shot out of the sky with a single patriot missile: the constitution.
v. The dilemma of Lesotho politics: National interest in Lesotho is gradually being downgraded by our politicians’ personal interests. The fate of the 2017/18 budget is a good example of this.
In a normal democracy, there ought to be a compromise solution to the unplanned collision of the no-confidence motion, the budget session and the dissolution of parliament.
These affected both government and opposition. This is a baby of the National Assembly as a whole and not the government’s alone.
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