Thabane coalition folds


Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s coalition fell apart in parliament spelling the end of his tenure and paving the way to resolution of a political crisis in the kingdom.

National Assembly Speaker Sephiri Motanyane announced the collapse of his governing majority and said Thabane (80) would step down by May 22.

Thabane has been under pressure to resign over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of conspiring to murder his ex-wife. His current wife, Maesaiah was charged with Thabane named a suspect though has yet to be formally charged. Both deny any involvement.

The case divided his party and triggered sporadic unrest. Thabane promised to retire, but draggerd his feet on when to do so.

“We verified the four-party coalition agreement is terminated and there is formation of a new government,” Motanyane said.

Sam Rapapa, deputy chairman of Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, said all parties provisionally agreed on Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro to replace Thabane.

“Thabane is now caretaker prime minister until May 22 when a new prime minister is sworn in,” Rapapa said.

Members of the ABC, opposition parties and South African mediators have been pressing Thabane to leave. King Letsie III last week assented to legislation preventing Thabane from dissolving parliament and calling an election in the event of a vote of no confidence against him.