Lesotho: Prime Minister Resigns from Ruling Party

29 February 2012

The run-up to the general election in Lesotho has taken a dramatic turn, with Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili leading a walkout from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy.

Lesotho media report that 45 members of Parliament joined Mosisili in crossing the floor to form a new party, the Democratic Congress, which will take over as the majority party in Parliament.

Agence France-Presse reports Mosisili as saying he was "shaking" as he wrote the letter that indicated he was leaving the LCD. The agency reports that Mosisili's departure is a result of a fallout with the LCD national executive committee, after prolonged factional squabbles since 2008.

Earlier in February, Mosisili had survived an opposition-sponsored vote of no confidence which collapsed after LCD Secretary-General Mothetjoa Metsing withdrew his name as the candidate to replace him as prime minister.

AFP reports that Mosisili's new party has a slim majority in the 120-member parliament.

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