Lesotho’s PM Thabane’s ABC party to meet over his removal

The NEC confirmed on Wednesday it had given Prime Minister Tom Thabane until Thursday to step down.

In this file photo taken on 31 May 2017 Lesotho political party All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Prime Minister Tom Thabane gives an interview to Agence France-Presse at his residence in Maseru. Picture: AFP

MASERU - The national executive committee (NEC) of Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party is meeting on Thursday morning to decide who will succeed him.

The NEC confirmed on Wednesday it had given him until Thursday to step down.

Deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao confirmed the meeting would start at 10am but said that attempts to have a meeting with Thabane about the ultimatum had failed.

Divisions in the ranks of Thabane’s ABC party were expected to be healed after the leader delivered a unity statement in January when he formally announced that he would retire.

Instead, the factions continued to attack each other, with some members of parliament publicly vowing not to vote for the NEC recommended candidates for Thabane’s successor.

The party would like to retain the position but needed its coalition partners and other parties in parliament to do that.

While he remains mum on the issue, deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki of the Alliance of Democrats was preferred by some for government to continue, but Thabane would have to go on leave for him to automatically remain in charge.

While the outcomes of Thursday’s ABC party NEC meeting were eagerly awaited by all, Mahao said he didn’t expect Thabane to attend because and “he never attends NEC meetings”.