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Opening of Lesotho Parliament 'a milestone'

Lesotho’s 120-member legislature was shuttered by Prime Minister Tom Thabane last June.

FILE: Lesotho's Prime Minister Tom Thababe. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The opening of Lesotho's Parliament on Thursday is an important marker in the regional roadmap designed to restore peace after an attempted coup in the Mountain Kingdom six weeks ago.

The legislature in Maseru will sit until early December, passing a budget and preparing the ground for elections next February.

Lesotho's 120-member legislature was shuttered by Prime Minister Tom Thabane last June.

He was dodging a no-confidence vote likely to boot him from power.

Thabane insists rebels still at large make it too dangerous to return to normal politics.

He's being guarded by police from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The early elections are being forced on Lesotho by the region that's mandated Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as their special facilitator.