Moleleki speaks on po­lit­i­cal fu­ture

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki (pic­tured) has spo­ken out on his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture amid fevered spec­u­la­tion his de­ci­sion to stop con­test­ing in fu­ture par­lia­men­tary elec­tions was pred­i­cated on ill health.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times yes­ter­day, the Al­liance of Democrats (AD) leader said his de­ci­sion was not prompted by ill­ness, but on the be­lief that lead­ers should not cling to po­si­tions for life but pass on the ba­ton to oth­ers.

Mr Moleleki, who is the leg­is­la­tor for Machache, said his re­marks at an event to thank the peo­ple of the con­stituency last Satur­day for elect­ing him six times were mis­con­strued to mean he was re­tir­ing from pol­i­tics.

In­stead, Mr Moleleki said, he meant that he would no longer con­test for a par­lia­men­tary seat, but en­ter the Na­tional As­sem­bly as a pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) leg­is­la­tor in the event of elec­tions.

Mr Moleleki’s mis­con­strued re­marks have been trend­ing on so­cial and main­stream me­dia, with many com­men­ta­tors spec­u­lat­ing that the life threat­en­ing ill­ness cancer he sur­vived a few years ago may have re­lapsed.

How­ever, the long-serv­ing politi­cian stressed that he was not ill, but merely map­ping out a suc­ces­sion plan for his party.

The event was meant to ex­press grat­i­tude to the Machache res­i­dents for the AD’S sin­gle elected seat won dur­ing the snap 3 June 2017 Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions. The party also notched eight PR seats in the elec­tions.

The elec­tions were a re­sult of the 1 March 2017 col­lapse of the Pakalitha Mo­sisili-led govern­ment through a par­lia­men­tary no con­fi­dence vote en­gi­neered by the AD and three other par­ties.

The AD and the three other par­ties, Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Re­formed Con­gress of Le­sotho went on to cob­ble to­gether their 63 seats to form govern­ment.

Dr Mo­sisili’s Demo­cratic Con­gress and six other par­ties that con­sti­tuted the for­mer govern­ment, could only muster 47 seats col­lec­tively, which were 14 short of the 61-seat thresh­old to form govern­ment.

The “four-by-four” coali­tion, as it is widely known, has since added one seat af­ter the DC’S Tlo­he­lang Au­mane de­fected to the AD. The al­liance added three more seats af­ter the ABC won the 30 Septem­ber 2017 by­elec­tions in Thupa-kubu, Hololo and Tey­ateya­neng #24 con­stituen­cies.

Mr Moleleki was pre­vi­ously the deputy leader of the DC, but left the party in Novem­ber last year af­ter fall­ing out with party leader, Dr Mo­sisili. Mr Moleleki went on to form the AD the next month along with mem­bers of a DC fac­tion that was loyal to him.

The AD leader told this pub­li­ca­tion that he wanted to groom suc­ces­sors and not cre­ate a lead­er­ship vac­uum in the party.

“Our (AD) con­sti­tu­tion states that one can only be a leader for two terms or a pe­riod of 10 years, and it is only proper that our sup­port­ers should pre­pare for as­pir­ing suc­ces- sors,” Mr Moleleki said.

“It is a dis­grace that peo­ple are still say­ing one per­son should be a leader for or 40 years. We need to fos­ter a cul­ture of pass­ing the lead­er­ship ba­ton.”

He said he had de­cided to buck k the trend by mak­ing way for an­other can­di­date date in the next and all fu­ture elec­tions.

“I told my peo­ple that the six times imes that I have been elected in Machache mark ark the end of my time as a can­di­date in that con­stituen- on­stituency and at the next elec­tion, whether her it comes to­mor­row or in the year 2022, I will not be stand­ing as a can­di­date for Machache ache con­stituency.

“When there was a need for me to stand for con­stituency elec­tions, I did and now it is time to give an­other per­son n an op­por­tu­nity to stand.

“I in­vited my peo­ple to start search­ing arch­ing for an ap­pro­pri­ate young man or woman to rep­re­sent my party in the con­stitu- nstituency.

“I didn’t say at the party, but I am say­ing to you that if I am still alive, live, I will cam­paign hard­est for the can- an­di­date to be elected so that the AD re­tains our strong­hold.”

Mr Moleleki em­pha­sized that he was not yet re­lin­quish­ing his po­si­tion as AD leader, adding that the po­si­tion en­sured that he would be very high on the party’s PR list.

“I am not say­ing I am re­tir­ing from ac­tive pol­i­tics, I am only giv­ing the Machache peo­ple four years and eight months to look for the next can­di­date for us to field,” said the vet­eran politi­cian.

He said the AD was grow­ing and it would win more con­stituen­cies and in­crease its PR seats in the next elec­tions.

Mr Moleleki added that their anal­y­sis showed that party mem­ber­ship had grown by seven per­cent be­tween 3 June and 30 Septem­ber this year.

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki

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