Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Lesotho opposition forms coalition

05 March 2015, 07:00

Maseru - Opposition parties in Lesotho on Wednesday formed a coalition government after beating Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's party in snap elections aimed at bringing stability following a coup bid.

Former premier Pakalitha Mosisili's Democratic Congress party picked up the most number of seats but fell short of an outright majority and then teamed up with six smaller opposition groups to form a coalition government in the tiny southern African kingdom.

The parties "have joined forces to form a government that will serve Basotho," Mosisili told reporters, referring to Lesotho nationals.

Premier Thabane's party had held a narrow lead during early counting of Saturday's vote.

But in the final tally his party fell to second place with 46 of the 120 national assembly seats. The opposition Democratic Congress wrested 47 seats.

The six other opposition parties which have joined Mosisili have given him an 18 extra seats in the national assembly and a majority.

Completely landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho is one of the world's poorest countries.

It has been in crisis since June 2014, when Thabane suspended parliament to avoid a motion that would have seen him ousted from power after the previous fragile coalition government fell apart.

On 30 August, soldiers attacked police headquarters, looting weapons and killing one officer.

Thabane described the violence as a coup attempt fuelled by the opposition and fled to neighbouring South Africa.

Both the military and opposition denied any bid to seize power.

'No security problem'

"There is no security problem in Lesotho, the problem was Prime Minister Thabane," Mosisili said on Wednesday.

He pledged that the new "government's first assignment is to bring normalcy."

Saturday's regionally-brokered election, held two years early, was hailed by international observers as peaceful, free and fair.

Also read: Lesotho polls: Final results reveal no clear winner

"Since there is no one party with 61 seats plus, they will have to negotiate which party will form the government," poll commission spokesperson Tsuoe Hants'i told AFP.

Current Deputy Prime Minister Metsing, whose differences with Thabane fractured the last coalition, is among the politicians who have clustered around former prime minister Mosisili. He will become the new deputy premier.

Mosisili was prime minister from 1998 to 2012. In the last election, his party won most of the seats but Thabane then won over the smaller parties.

Wednesday's results brought warnings by analysts that Lesotho's political instability was far from over.

"For Lesotho this means another term of uncertainty, unless Mosisili has learned from the mistakes of the last government," said Tsoeu Petlane, director at the Maseru-based think-tank Transformation Resource Centre.

"How he handles the security issues between the army and the police will be crucial to deciding if this new coalition will be stable or not."

On Monday, observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said laws and policies governing coalition governments in Lesotho needed to be reviewed.

"We think this time around, whatever the outcome, the government should be better able to deal with the issues ahead," said South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who led the SADC team of observers.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...