By Nthakoana Ngatane
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Lesotho Prime minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro is not only facing a motion of no confidence, but his detractors masquerading as supporters will be able to vote against him secretly if Tefo Mapesela gets his way.
The leader of the Basotho Progressive Party – BPP – who proposed a no-confidence-vote against Majoro and his government has filed another motion for a secret ballot.
The business committee that schedules proceedings of the national assembly will begin the process of deciding when both motions will be voted on when the house reconvenes on Friday 10 September and then announce those dates.
The house will decide both motions by majority vote.
Majoro and Democratic Congress leader and deputy prime minister Mathibeli Mokhothu have to consolidate support ahead of the secret ballot vote to ensure that they know how their MP’s vote.
If they lose the secret ballot vote they will go blindly into the vote of no confidence, and only trust that they still have support.
On paper the coalition government led by ABC and the DC has 63 MP’s, well above the required 61 or 50% plus 1 of the total 120 seats of the National Assembly.
But currently 5 seats are vacant due to deceased MP’s so the total filled seats are now 115, and that majority is now calculated at 59 for any vote.
While the official coalition is made up of 36 ABC MPs and 27 from the DC, 3 other parties – Movement for Economic Change, MEC, Basotho National Party, BNP and Popular Front for Democracy, PFD support to the coalition with their respective 7,5 and 3 seats – a total of 15.
These parties also hold cabinet positions in the government.
But since the formation of the coalition, Mapesela and former senator and justice minister Professor Nqosa Mahao broke away from ABC to form two new parties, BPP with 1 legislator and Basotho Action Party, BAP with 9.
The 10th ABC breakaway MP, Nyakane Kaya joined the Movement for Economic Change, MEC, which supports the coalition.
But the other MP’s crossed the floor from the government to the opposition leaving the coalition and threatening the fragile majority.
ABC and the government also initially lost Stadium Area MP Mokherane Tsatsanyane and Sello Mooki, MP of Bobatsi constituency who both joined the Alliance of Democrats, AD, which is in the opposition benches.
Tsatsanyane has now dumped the AD. He and another AD MP Mothepu Mahapa of Tele constituency joined the DC, boosting that party with two seats from 25 to 27 seats and the governing coalition up to 63 seats.
Lesotho has had 4 governments since 2012 due to the splitting of governing parties and coalition governments, and the pending votes will now decide if the country, already economically frail, will suffer another change of government ahead of elections in 2022.