Le­sotho’s 27-year democ­racy limps along

Lesotho Times - - Feed­back -

This beefed up the out­look and wish of “the next gov­ern­ment in wait­ing”. The 9th Par­lia­ment had to even­tu­ally ad­journ af­ter at­tempts to have gov­ern­ment change in the House.

iii. The is­sue of hung gov­ern­ment and de­fec­tions to form new par­ties or join the other ex­ist­ing par­ties has ne­ces­si­tated the for­ma­tion of a never tried elec­tion pact. How the re­sult of this tac­ti­cal move will im­pact and con­trib­ute to our rapidly evolv­ing par­lia­men­tary democ­racy re­mains to be seen.

iv. The MMP model once again ush­ered 10 po­lit­i­cal par­ties into the 9th Par­lia­ment. A record num­ber of al­most 30 par­ties is set to con­test in the 3 June snap elec­tion.

Will this re­sult in the in­crease or re­duc­tion of par­lia­men­tary par­ties in the 10th Par­lia­ment? What im­pact will any even­tu­al­ity have in re­gard to the sta­bil­ity or in­sta­bil­ity in the NA?

v. Ob­vi­ously, coali­tion gov­ern­ments are here to stay. They how­ever seem to be prone to be­ing short lived .Could it, frankly, be said this is a mis­fit for Le­sotho whose econ­omy is highly de­pen­dent on many vari­ables which ren­der it weak? Does this MMP model not de­serve a one-off ref­er­en­dum for the na­tion to de­ter­mine whether or not this model which ne­ces­si­tates mis­di­rec­tion of scarce re­sources to fund fre­quent sharp elec­tions should be dis­carded?

A vari­ant of a GNU: As a mat­ter of fact, Le­sotho of our time re­quires re­source­ful minds and pos­i­tive think­ing. Cre­ativ­ity could be more re­ward­ing than main­te­nance of a dys­func­tional sta­tus quo. Some in­no­va­tions may ap­pear as bet­ter op­tions while they have their own down­sides.

The never end­ing po­lit­i­cal prob­lems of Le­sotho have to be ad­dressed to over­come them. Le­sotho has talked much about the need to over­come them, but treat ev­ery­thing as busi­ness as usual. How much of the Le­sotho vi­sion 2020 been im­ple­mented? i. GNU could be an­other an­swer. It has never been re­futed or dis­missed as hot air that in Le­sotho, politi­cians have con­sid­er­able greed for State power.

How­ever, the re­cent res­ig­na­tion of many Min­is­ters from the rul­ing ma­jor­ity has sent out dif­fer­ent shock waves. That could be an iso­lated in­ci­dent which does not dis­prove the above al­le­ga­tion.

Crit­ics would view GNU as just a ploy to guar­an­tee all those pow­ers that will be in the 10th Par­lia­ment re­served seats on the gov­er­nance gravy train.

GNU like Coali­tion gov­ern­ment has not been reg­u­lated. Will it be the lead­ers, their con­fi­dants or MPS who se­cured the high­est num­ber of votes etc who ac­cess GNU seats?

GNU is likely to de­prive the NA the op­por­tu­nity to have an ef­fec­tive op­po­si­tion. Party cau­cuses may be com­pelled to have teams of devil`s ad­vo­cates. Back­benchers would have to be ad­e­quately trained on the use of their con­science, as an­other valu­able par­lia­men­tary tool if prop­erly used.

De­vel­op­ment of the sec­ond cham­ber/se­nate into an em­pow­ered demo­cratic House could also give GNU the re­quired over­sight re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Oth­er­wise, Par­lia­ment would be doomed to be sub­servient to the GNU, with all N.A. back­benchers re­duced to be quo­rum mem­bers whose sig­nif­i­cance is to give unan­i­mous ap­plause by rap­ping on desks. There would be lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween the GNU par­lia­ment that of a sin­gle party par­lia­ment.

ii. Par­ties get elected on the ba­sis of their man­i­festos or prom­ises to the elec­torate. Agree­ment of coali­tion par­ties su­per­sedes all those. What more if the whole ten par­lia­men­tary par­ties form the GNU? Ne­go­ti­a­tions for an Agree­ment are likely to be long and dif­fi­cult. Not all are likely to have their politi- cal agenda in­cluded as they would wish in the GNU Agree­ment.

There is also a risk of be­ing com­pelled to en­dorse an Agree­ment which an­other party may not en­dorse un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances.

Such things are likely to be a source of in­ter­per­sonal frus­tra­tion and ten­sions, which at times lead to break up of coali­tions. GNU is a coali­tion of ev­ery party in par­lia­ment and has no guar­an­tee against break down of gov­ern­ment.

Cur­rently, all hands are on board: 3 June elec­tion is around the cor­ner. Le­sotho is poised to limp along. Of its 50 years of In­de­pen­dence, 23 had an un­demo­cratic one party rule.

The rich legacy which the founder of this na­tion left has to be re­cip­ro­cated through a more ma­ture democ­racy.

Pray­ers have to be said for the 10th Par­lia­ment to take our democ­racy to higher lev­els. It is bet­ter par­lia­ments which con­trib­ute to stronger democ­ra­cies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.