C’wealth C in­sists in on re­forms

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - LekhethoLekhet Nt­sukun­yane

COMMONWEALTHCOMMO of Na­tions Sec­re­tary-gen­er­al­tary-gen (SG) Pa­tri­cia Scot­land says Le­sotho will need to im­ple­ment a raft of re­form re­forms to sta­bilise the coun­try af­ter the 3 Ju June 2017 elec­tions ir­re­spec­tive of which par­typa forms gov­ern­ment. Ms Sco Scot­land was speak­ing to the Le­sotho Time Times in Maseru this week fol­low­ing her visit to the Moun­tain King­dom for a se­ries of meet­ings with stake­hold­ers in the po­lit­i­calpolit arena ahead of the up­com­ing polls.polls The C Com­mon­wealth SG’S visit, which be­gan on Mon­day and ends to­day, is also meant t to reaf­firm the 52-na­tion bloc’s sup­por sup­port for the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal and elect elec­toral pro­cesses. L Le­sotho is one of 52 mostly former Bri Bri­tish colonies or de­pen­den­cies tha that are mem­bers of the in­ter­gov­ern ern­men­tal Com­mon­wealth of Na­tion tions united by shared val­ues of demo moc­racy, free speech, hu­man rights an and the rule of law. Ms Scot­land said she was delig lighted to learn that “al­most all th the po­lit­i­cal par­ties” in Le­sotho signed a pledge com­mit­ting to de­liver the re­forms that the Com­mon­wealth had ad­vo­cated through a re­port by bloc’s Ex­pert Ad­viser to Le­sotho Dr Ra­jen Prasad. Dr Prasad made the re­port a af­ter a 25-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion of L Le­sotho politi­cians, se­nior civil ser­vants and civil so­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives vis­ited New Zealand fro from 28 June to 5 July 2014 to stu study the coun­try’s gov­er­nance syste tem. Dr Prasad’s re­port sug­gested, amo among other is­sues, that Le­sotho shoul should de­politi­cise its civil ser­vice and un­dert un­der­take con­sti­tu­tional re­forms. Le­sot Le­sotho com­mit­ted to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a raft of le­gal, po­lit­i­cal and secu- rity re­forms that were rec­om­mended by the re­gional South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) as part of ef­forts to en­sure last­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the King­dom.

The in­sta­bil­ity has of­ten man­i­fested in the pre­ma­ture col­lapse of gov­ern­ments, the lat­est be­ing Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s seven-party coali­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion which suc­cumbed to a no­con­fi­dence vote in par­lia­ment on 1 March 2017. The coun­try is hold­ing its elec­tions, the third in just five years as none of the gov­ern­ments have man­aged to last the full five-year man­date.

Ms Scot­land said they would sup­port the re­form process once the elec­tions were over, “and in­deed work with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to see how best we can sup­port Le­sotho to de­liver on th­ese is­sues”.

“What is very warm­ing and sat­is­fy­ing is to know that ir­re­spec­tive of any po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences the par­ties may have, they have all agreed that the re­forms process is some­thing that they will com­mit to ir­re­spec­tive of who wins the elec­tions,” she said.

“It is im­por­tant to recog­nise that this is an it­er­a­tive process. There is need for us to be steady when it comes to what the re­forms ac­tu­ally mean.

“We have an agree­ment that the re­forms should take place and I un­der­stand there is a de­sire to have an ac­tion plan and time ta­ble for when and how th­ese re­forms should be un­der­taken.

“I will be listening and talk­ing to Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing and lead­ers of the op­po­si­tion par­ties to hear what they have to say; are they will­ing and in­ter­ested in this idea of a peace pledge go­ing for­ward to guide us in the elec­tion process.”

Ms Scot­land also ap­pealed to Ba­sotho “to con­cen­trate on peace, good gov­er­nance, the rule of law and how we can make sure the struc­ture is right”.

“We know that there will al­ways be dif­fer­ences in po­lit­i­cal views but that’s not what we are talk­ing about,” she said.

“We are talk­ing about the re­form pro­gramme, re­spect, peace and be­ing able to cre­ate en­vi­ron­ment where a good, peace­ful elec­tion can take place and where ev­ery­one is satisfied at the end of the process that the process is one that they can en­dorse and sup­port.”

She noted that Le­sotho also sought as­sis­tance of the Com­mon­wealth in 2012.

“There was an is­sue of whether the con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments should be changed; if the first-past-the-post sys­tem should con­tinue. As a re­sult, the then sec­re­tary-gen­eral agreed that Dr Prasad should come and as­sist Le­sotho to look at how the new struc­ture should be made.

“And for that pur­pose, he un­der­took a lot of work with stake­hold­ers in gov­ern­ment and the op­po­si­tion as to how this new struc­ture should be put in place,” Ms Scot­land said.

She said the Com­mon­wealth sec­re­tar­iat had an ob­server mis­sion for elec­tions, adding, “Most coun­tries ask for the sec­re­tary to come and ob­serve their elec­tions”.

Turn­ing to other is­sues, she said the Com­mon­wealth theme for 2017 cen­tred on peace build­ing and they launched the Peace in the Home cam­paign to deal with domestic vi­o­lence.

“One in ev­ery three women in the world is af­fected by domestic vi­o­lence. It is the great­est cause of mor­bid­ity in women and girls.

“There is a big cost of this on all our com­mu­ni­ties. So we have been work­ing hard to gather the best prac­tices across the Com­mon­wealth coun­tries so we could share with one an­other and re­duce the like­li­hood of domestic vi­o­lence af­fect­ing

md men, women and chil­dren be­cause it af­fects all of us.”

She added that the cam­paign was very im­por­tant be­cause with­out peace in the home “it is very un­likely to have peace in our world”.

COM­MON­WEALTH of Na­tions SG Pa­tri­cia Scot­land.

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