Parliament to re-convene after Reforms break

Leader of the National Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki has confirmed that the seventh meeting of the first session of the tenth parliament of Lesotho will be held at the New Parliament building in Maseru on May 24.

Moleleki said in a telephone interview there will be no specific business other than normal National Assembly daily business.

He pointed out that the National Assembly had adjourned in order to allow members to attend National Reforms meetings in all the constituencies, adding that now that the meetings have been held in all the 80 constituencies, the House will be re-opening to continue with its daily business.

Member of Parliament Teboho Sekata said it was possible for the House to re-open anytime soon, saying he has been requested to provide his email address but has not been able to see the memo notifying them of the re-opening of the House.

On the other hand, Chief Whip in the National Assembly, Likopo Mahase, said the opening of the National Assembly is the prerogative of the executive, saying the Speaker of the National Assembly is yet to formally notify him.

He promised to confirm the new development only after meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly Sephiri Motanyane on Wednesday this week.

The National Assembly adjourned sine die last month ahead of the Easter vacation following the motion made by the leader of the house.

However, there has been a public outcry for the National Assembly to re-open with members of the public citing that keeping it closed was undemocratic.

The National Assembly consists of 120 members drawn from 80 constituencies plus 40 from the Proportional Representation (PR).

Lesotho adopted the Mixed Member Parliamentary (MMP) electoral system first in 2002 general elections following the hotly disputed 1998 general elections which were won by the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).

Following the intervening of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to quell the opposition’s protests, Lesotho Political Authority (LPA) was established comprising all the political parties registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

LPA recommended the change of the electoral model of the First Past the Post (FPP) in which the political party which has won majority votes at the constituencies became the ruling party.

It was then resolved by LPA that the FPP left many political parties with a huge following outside of the National Assembly while it was believed that the MMP was an inclusive electoral model that would allow even the small political parties to be represented in the National Assembly as part of restoring peace and nation building.

However, this electoral model has proved to be only a short-lived solution hence the country is now under the national reforms process to address some of the challenges the country has been experiencing.


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