Lesotho’s Prime Minister Avoids Discussing His Removal, Resulting in Government Paralysis
Lesotho’s Prime Minister, billionaire Sam Matekane, who has been in office for just over a year, may face consequences due to a constitutional amendment passed in 2020. On Monday, Matekane avoided a parliamentary debate on a vote of no confidence in his leadership by the main opposition, the Democratic Congress (DC).
In a last-minute move, the government took the issue to court, challenging the section of the amendment that allowed the motion. The case will be heard on October 30, leaving parliament paralyzed and delaying important matters like the budget.
Matekane addressed the nation, expressing concern about the threats his government faces and accusing politicians of hindering progress. He pledged to fight for peace, security, and stability in the country. If the opposition succeeds, it will be the third time in a decade that a sitting prime minister in Lesotho fights to retain their position.
The amendment was intended to limit the prime minister’s powers in the event of a successful vote of no confidence. However, Matekane’s government is now in jeopardy, as the opposition seeks to utilize this law. Matekane’s party, the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), won a slim majority in parliament with the support of fringe parties.
But their depth in politics may not be enough to save Matekane’s government if the opposition gathers enough support.
The motion of no confidence in the government only requires an ordinary majority to pass, unlike the motion to remove the Speaker of the National Assembly.
The leader of the opposition party, Mathibeli Mokhothu, has 29 seats in parliament and could potentially gather enough support to challenge Matekane’s government.