Lesotho's ruling ABC party wants PM to step down, names successor

ABC spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa said by telephone that the party’s national executive council had agreed on chairman Samuel Rapapa during discussions on Monday and delivered his name to Parliament.

Lesotho's Prime Minister Tom Thabane. Picture: Facebook.

MASERU - Lesotho’s ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party wants Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to step down immediately, with chairman Samuel Rapapa ready to take over, the party spokesman said on Monday.

ABC spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa said by telephone that the party’s national executive council had agreed on Rapapa during discussions on Monday and delivered his name to Parliament.

In theory, since the ABC has a majority in Parliament, it does not need to put the nomination to a vote.

But it is unclear what happens if Thabane, who had said would quit at the end of July amid a high profile criminal case in which he is suspected of murdering his wife, refuses to go. He denies murder.

He had said he would resign at the end of July, and several members of his own ABC party have been pressuring him to go sooner to avert a political crisis.

Lesotho, a tiny mountain territory of two million people, has a history of coups and political instability.