Pressure mounts on Lesotho’s Tom Thabane to step down

In a joint statement, ABC MPs threatened to take legal action to reopen Parliament and table a motion of no confidence in Thabane if he doesn’t step aside.

FILE: Lesotho PM Thomas Motsoahae Thabane at the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit at The OR Tambo Building in Pretoria on 20 August, 2017. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Members of Parliament of Lesotho prime minister Tom Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party have given him an ultimatum to step down as party leader or be recalled.

In a joint statement, the MPs threatened to take legal action to reopen Parliament and table a motion of no confidence in Thabane if he doesn’t step aside.

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His long-time confidante and influential chief Khoabane Theko had called on Thabane to step down for allowing his wife, the first lady, to exercise constitutional powers by ordering ministers around.

Following a bruising battle for control of the party’s national executive committee that Thabane and his faction lost in court, his MPs also want him to step down.

But the prime minister came out on Wednesday making bold pronouncements to create jobs and withdraw wool and mohair regulations that had seen farmers protesting for months.

But even if he steps down as party leader, as he is also an elected MP, only a vote of the National Assembly can remove him as prime minister.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)