16 June 2017

Lesotho: Lehloenya Promises Responsive Parly

NEWLY elected deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Teboho Lehloenya has pledged to prioritise the improvement of government internal systems and processes to make them more responsive to the needs of the nation.

Mr Lehloenya made the pledge in his acceptance speech after being sworn in this week.

His and the swearing in of legislators of the 10th parliament came against the background of the 3 June national elections which were held after the Pakalitha Mosisili-led seven parties' coalition government succumbed to a no confidence vote in parliament which was sponsored by the-then opposition.

Mr Lehloenya triggered the no confidence motion.

The Thomas Thabane-led All Basotho Convention (ABC) subsequently won 47 constituency seats and one proportional representation (PR) seat, bringing their total to 48. The ABC also won three constituencies in which the candidates died before the elections.

The ABC subsequently combined its 48 seats with the AD's nine, BNP's five and the RCL's one, enabling them to pass the 61-seat threshold required to form government in the 120-seat National Assembly.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mosisili's Democratic Congress obtained 26 constituency seats and four PR seats and outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy obtained one constituency seat and 10 PR seats.

Speaking after his swearing-in, Mr Lehloenya called on legislators to uphold the principles of the national constitution.

"Section 70 of the constitution gives parliament exclusive legislative power in this country and in that regard, the speakers' responsibility is to ensure that everyone understands and upholds that principle," Mr Lehloenya said.

He also promised to prioritise improvements of government internal systems and processes.

"We need higher levels of secretarial services and research capabilities in our portfolio communities.

"Members of parliament and the media need an acceptable working environment. We also need to open up parliament to the general public," he said this could only be achieved with the "support and guidance of those that came before us".

He said the National Assembly had additional international obligations to the Southern African Development Community, the Pan-African Parliament as well the Commonwealth among others.

Mr Lehloenya is a qualified pilot, Computer Systems Analyst.

He has also worked as the district administrator of Mafeteng and his last public office was that of MP for Kolo Constituency.

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