The pledge, initiated by the Christian Council of Lesotho commits all political parties to convene an independent national dialogue that will debate and agree on a consensus basis on how to implement the reforms.
Lesotho’s Constitution remains at the centre of upheavals that have caused constant instabilities.
SADC advised the country to reform the security sector and public sectors. As the country goes to the third elections within in a space of 5 years, 3 years earlier than scheduled, churches want all political parties to commit to prioritise the reforms regardless of who wins.
The country’s second coalition government of seven parties has had its tenure cut short after only two years. Three of the coalition parties – the Prime Minister’s Democratic Congress, National Independent Party and Popular Front for Democracy signed the Pledge. Of the other four, the Deputy Prime Minister’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy represented by Deputy Leader and Minister of Defence Tseliso Mokhosi said it would consult its leadership, and the other three are said to sign later.
“After elections we are carrying forward with reforms. It’s important that everybody sees it as a national agenda priority. We think the Basotho people have won the day,” said PFD leader, Lekhetho Rakuoane.
Of the opposition alliance, former Prime Minister and All Basotho Convention Leader Tom Thabane, Alliance of Democrats Deputy Leader Kabelo Mafora and Basotho National Party Deputy leader Joang Molapo signed the Pledge.
“There is a need to re-energise critical sectors of our country and this is a step in that direction. We are certain that come the 4th of June Basotho will have elected in such a way that these 4 parties can form a government,” says Molapo.
The IEC, Civil Society and international community including the Commonwealth and the European Union signed as witnesses. “This is something for after the elections, it is great that it has been agreed now, and that it will be implemented immediately after the election,” says European union Ambassador, Dr Michael Doyle.
The parties have committed that one of the first priorities of the new government and without undue delay, will be an independent national dialogue that will debate and agree on a consensus basis on how to implement the reforms.
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– By Nthakoana Ngatane