10 August 2017

Lesotho Will Never Be SADC's 'Bad Boy' Again, Says PM Lesotho

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who doubles as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional facilitator in Lesotho, has expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the regional body's recommendation in the mountain kingdom. Ramaphosa was in Lesotho on Wednesday to monitor progress following elections that resulted in Tom Thabane becoming prime minister. In a statement issued by the presidency, Ramaphosa said: "... we as the SADC Facilitation process also accompanied by Oversight Committee Chairperson have come to Lesotho to find out how the process is unfolding in Lesotho following the very successful elections that they held and the formation of the new government."

"We have also dealt with issues that have to do with what SADC Summit decided the last time in relation to the holding of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue that is meant to, in an inclusive way, address the issues of reforms - security reforms, constitutional reforms, media reforms and public service reforms.

"We are very pleased to have received a report from the Honourable Prime Minister that [the] Government of Lesotho (composed of the coalition) is determined to move ahead with the holding of the Multi-Party Stakeholder Dialogue where these issues that have been raised by SADC will be addressed."

During his visit, Ramaphosa met with Thabane, who pledged inclusiveness in the coalition talks as well as his country's co-operation in finding lasting solution.

Thabane vowed that as head of government, his country was no longer going to be the region's "bad boy".

"Nothing could be greater than in showing the strength of this region. Thank you very much and your delegation for coming this morning and for the wisdom that you are leaving behind which we need to follow.

"As leader of the government group, I assure you that we will do everything to stop being the bad boy of SADC. Enough is enough," said Thabane.

Lesotho plunged into a political crisis following a failed coup attempt in 2014, prompting regional intervention.

In March this year, the mountain kingdom again faced a fresh crisis after parliament passed a vote of no confidence on ex- Prime Minister Pakalithi Mosisili.

This consequently paved way for the June 3 held election which saw Thabane winning 48 out of 120 parliamentary seats.

Source: News24

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