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Thabane remains prime minister in Lesotho amid political tensions

MPs who filed a motion of no confidence in Thabane were ready to demand a vote, but the speaker didn't put their motion on the agenda.

Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae "Tom" Thabane. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Assembly speaker in Lesotho has averted a potentially fiery sitting over Prime Minister Tom Thabane.

Members of Parliament who filed a motion of no confidence in Thabane were ready to demand a vote, but Speaker Sephiri Motanyane didn't put their motion on the agenda.

Meanwhile, those that support Thabane had filed a motion for the House to go on winter break, hoping the speaker would adjourn the house without a vote, but he didn’t.

Thursday night’s sitting of the National Assembly could have descended into chaos with stakes very high, but speaker Motanyane demonstrated his prowess as he made two rulings that neutralised both sides.

The motion to adjourn the house for winter was going to be a test for how much support the government still had, but it was withdrawn, saving the government the embarrassment of proof that it no longer has support.

This meant the house that was supposed to go on recess will continue to sit.

The proposers of the motion of no confidence have nominated an MP of a rival faction of Thabane’s ABC, Sam Rapapa.

But Motanyane said as required by the Constitution, the nominated MP must be a leader and Rapapa and his followers must form a grouping and name him as leader. Until then, he hasn’t thrown the motion out yet.

As the suspense continued, Thabane remains prime minister.

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