KINGDOM TO HOLD FRESH GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THREE MONTHS

LESOTHO: POLITICS/SABC/8/3/17 SABANews 1

MASERU – LESOTHO is to hold fresh general elections in THREE months, after TWO snap ballots in 2012 and 2015.

King LETSIE THE THIRD says he accepted the advice of Prime Minister PAKALITHA MOSISILI to dissolve Parliament and hold elections in the interest of unity, as well as to avoid a Constitutional crisis.

His announcement comes after the Prime Minister lost a vote of no confidence last WEDNESDAY.

However, SABC News says the opposition intends to challenge the dissolution of the National Assembly.

Deputy Prime Minister MOTHETJOA METSING has also confirmed the King has accepted the advice of the Prime Minister to dissolve the NINTH Parliament.

He says the Constitution demands elections within 90 days after the dissolution of Parliament, while the electoral law makes demands a voting day should be announced with FOUR days after the dissolution.

SABC says the opposition has attempted to invoke the powers of another statutory body, the Council of State, to prevent the move.

The Senior Private Secretary to the King says the Monarch has reached the decision in the interest of national unity and to avoid constitutional crises, and he has deemed it not wise to convene the Council of State as had been requested.

On the other hand, the opposition hoped to make its last move in Parliament, but the Speaker had already effected the Gazette.

BASOTHO NATIONAL PARTY Leader THESELE MASERIBANE says they fully understand, after a briefing by their legal advisers, there is a case on board.

He says the opposition party is preparing to challenge the planned Parliamentary dissolution at the Constitutional Court of LESOTHO, while the government and its allies say they are ready for polls.

Opposition groups also says they are confident they have support, but believe spending another 200-MILLION rand (about 15-MILLION-385-THOUSAND US dollars) within TWO years is not in the best interests of the country.

The SOUTH AFRICAN national broadcaster says it is now up to the LESOTHO Independent Electoral Commission to declare its readiness./Sabanews/cam