politics

Sept. 6, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

3 min read

Rakuoane presents 10th Amendment Act to Basotho

Rakuoane presents 10th Amendment Act to Basotho

The Minister of Law and Justice, Adv Lekhetho Rakuoane

Story highlights

  • Act a result of consultations among members of the National Reforms Authority
  • The law limits the powers of PM to prorogue Parliament

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THE Minister of Law and Justice, Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane has confirmed the gazzetting of both the National Assembly Electoral Amendment Act 2022 and 10th Amendment Constitution Act 2022 by government.

The purpose of the 10th Amendment Constitution Act 2022, he said, is to amend the Constitution of Lesotho 1993 and to give effect to the resolutions of the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue on comprehensive national reforms as espoused in the Plenary II Report.

Adv Rakuoane made the comments on Monday when addressing the media.  

The Act, he said, is a result of consultations and debates among members of the National Reforms Authority and a wide number of stakeholders.
He said the 10th Amendment Constitution Act 2022 further provides for the establishment of the Parliamentary Service, the offices of the President of the Senate, Speaker, adding that Clerks of both houses of Parliament will be offices in the Parliamentary Service.
According to the Act, there is the Parliamentary Service Commission whose function shall, amongst others be the appointment and removal of the Clerks and other staff of the Parliamentary Service.
Rakuoane said the current Constitution does not have provisions on joined sittings of both Houses of Parliament to discuss issues whenever it is necessary.
The Act therefore makes provision for the King to summon both the Senate and the National Assembly to a joined sitting for purposes of delivery of the speech from the throne, presentation of the budget speech, state of the nation address and to resolve a disagreement between the two Houses
Rakuoane said the Act limits the powers of the Prime Minister to prorogue Parliament, in that the PM can only recommend the prorogation for 14 days and even then, the Premier would require approval from Parliament.
He said should a further period be required, then approval by Parliament would be required. Notwithstanding this provision, prorogation would not exceed 60 days.
The Act makes provision for a caretaker government to temporarily be in charge of the government after the dissolution of Parliament until a new PM is appointed.

The person who immediately held the office of the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the King to head the caretaker government.
Rakuoane said the Act also limits the tenure of office of the Prime Minister to only two terms.

The Act proposes citizenship requirements for the Prime Minister and makes provision for formation of coalition governments in a situation where there is no outright winner of a general election and sets the ceiling for the size of Cabinet.

Currently the constitution only sets the minimum number of ministers.
 

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Rakuoane said the Act makes chieftainship a fundamental part in government, adding that it further provides for the basic principles in the role it plays in local and national development.

The functions of chiefs are specified in Schedule 4 of the Constitution.
The Act elevates the status of the National Development Planning Board to that of the Commission, which shall be an Apex body responsible for formulating strategic development frameworks, policies and related matter and not be subject to the direction and control of any person or authority in executing its functions.

The Commission is obliged to report to the Prime Minister.
Rakuoane said the Act provides that the government consists of both the national and local governments.
According to the Act, the local government consists of councils established at district, city and municipal levels and district councils comprise community, urban and any other type of Council that may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

Councils established under this Constitution shall have autonomy and such executive powers as will enable them to perform their functions as set out in an Act of Parliament.
Rakuoane said the Act further makes provision for the District Assembly in which the legislative authority of a district vests, District Executive in which the executive authority vests.

The governance and management of the City of Maseru and other cities shall be by the city council.
Rakuoane said the Act introduces the media sector which shall form a basis for the role of media in Lesotho.
According to the Act, the entire media industry shall be regulated by a Media Council, which shall be an independent body comprising persons from different sectors such as journalism, legal, labour, dispute resolution, civil society, human rights and communications. - LeNA
 

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