Mets­ing bat­tles con­gress in­fight­ing

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

MA­PUT­SOE — Le­sotho Con­gress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing has moved to stem the dis­con­tent in the con­gress al­liance over the Ma­put­soe con­stituency par­lia­men­tary can­di­date which has spilled over to so­cial me­dia.

Mr Mets­ing’s LCD re­cently forged an elec­toral pact with the Demo­cratic Con­gress (DC) and Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy (PFD) ahead of the 3 June 2017 poll.

Un­der the pact, the par­ties will field one can­di­date for each of the coun­try’s 80 con­stituen­cies to avoid vote split­ting.

The DC will con­test in 54 con­stituen­cies while the LCD was al­lo­cated 25. The three par­ties will also vote for PFD deputy leader, Thabang Kholumo, in his Qalo strong­hold in Butha-buthe.

How­ever, the con­gress al­liance has not been well re­ceived by all the par­ties’ sup­port­ers, with some re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge the can­di­dates im­posed on them.

This dis­af­fec­tion has been par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent in Ma­put­soe con­stituency which was al­lo­cated to the LCD in line with the elec­toral pact. While some of the DC sup­port­ers have ex­pressed their dis­plea­sure for no longer be­ing able to vote for their party can­di­date, some LCD sup­port­ers have also re­jected the can­di­date, Mat­sepo Lehlokoana, even though she won the party pri­mary elec­tion.

Ms Lehlokoana beat Ma­thethiwe Senekal in the LCD pri­mary elec­tion. How­ever, Ms Senekal’s sup­port­ers al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the poll and vented their fury on so­cial me­dia net­works such as Face­book and What­sapp.

Ms Senekal’s sup­port­ers also pointed to Ms Lehlokoana’s se­lec­tion to the LCD’S pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) list as a sign of favouritism, ar­gu­ing that she was not nom­i­nated for the list by the con­stituency.

Ad­dress­ing the con­gress sup­port­ers dur­ing a joint rally in Ma­put­soe ear­lier this week, Mr Mets­ing said win­ning the con­stituency in next month’s elec­tion was in their hands if they chose to unite.

“I have to be hon­est with you con­gress sup­port­ers in Ma­put­soe that if we were to lose or have low voter turnout in this con­stituency, it would be be­cause of you,” said the LCD leader, who is also deputy prime min­is­ter.

“I there­fore ap­peal to you to re­spect the demo­cratic process by ac­cept­ing the re­sult of the pri­mary elec­tion. The ma­jor­ity of LCD sup­port­ers in this con­stituency voted for Mme Lehlokoana and we need to re­spect that.

Mr Mets­ing added: “Even if some of you may have valid points of con­tention against her, you need to ac­cept that she was elected by the ma­jor­ity.

“We ad­mit that they might have been mis­takes in the pri­mary elec­tion process, but we should bear in mind that we can never have a fully per­fect process.”

He also urged Ms Lehlokoana to hum­ble her­self and work with her foes to ensure vic­tory in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tion.

“To Mme Lehlokoana and Mme Senekale, I ex­pect to see you work­ing in unity in this con­stituency for the ben­e­fit of the con­gress po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

“We can­not af­ford to have sup­port­ers of Mme Lehlokoana sab­o­tag­ing Mme Senekale

and vice versa.”

Mr Mets­ing said the con­gress par­ties could ill-af­ford end­ing up as the op­po­si­tion merely be­cause of dis­unity.

“If we unite, we are likely to win all the con­stituen­cies in Leribe. Dis­unity was the rea­son we fared poorly in the 2012 and 2015 elec­tions,” he said.

“I ad­mit that we some­times make mis­takes as the lead­er­ship, but we ap­peal to con­gress sup­port­ers to look at the big­ger picture so we can emerge from the elec­tion vic­to­ri­ous.”

LCD and DC sup­port­ers at the rally in Koro-koro.

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