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A big well done!



The 11th Amendment to the Constitution 2022 which is set to be tabled in Parliament anytime soon could be the most significant change ever effected on the country’s supreme law.
Its impact could go a long way in resolving the numerous political challenges this country has faced since independence in October 1966.

We therefore would like to congratulate those behind the drafting of the amendment for a job well done.
It would appear those who drafted the document did a fine job in identifying the causes of trouble and then went on to prescribe what they think can be the solution.

It is an elegant piece of legislation that leaves the reader in no doubt as to what needs to be fixed.
After reading through the entire 157-page document, we would like to believe that it could be the springboard from which we can fix what has been ailing this country for the past six decades.

In fact, the amendment Bill reads like a comprehensive manual on how to make Lesotho work again.
Take for instance the case of floor crossing in Parliament.

That provision in our law meant that coalition governments could never be stable as they were constantly at the mercy of MPs who were in most cases pushing their own narrow agendas.
Now the 11th Amendment will fix this by making it difficult for MPs to cross the floor.

Under the new law, an MP who is representing a constituency may cross the floor “at the end of three years after the beginning of a term of parliament”.
There shall be a 15-day window period to allow this process.

Any MP who crosses the floor outside the 15-day period “shall vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly and a by-election shall be held in that constituency”.
This is an excellent way to ensure that we have stable governments in Lesotho that are not at the mercy of MPs.

With stable governments, we will not see constant elections in Lesotho before governments finish their terms.
Resources that should be used to develop the country will therefore be channelled towards the right causes instead of being ploughed in costly elections every now and then.

The amendment also introduces the issue of term limits for the Prime Minister.
The new law says “a person shall not hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms regardless of the term of parliament”.

The days of Lesotho having Prime Ministers who stay in office beyond two terms are now over. This is an extremely progressive amendment.
We are vociferously opposed to any individual seeking to stay in office beyond two terms. We strongly believe in leadership renewal and the concept of changing the Prime Minister every now and then.

This will certainly be good for Lesotho.
In the recent past, we have seen how Prime Ministers sought to prorogue Parliament in an effort to frustrate efforts to oust them from power. That loophole has also now been plugged.

“The Prime Minister may recommend prorogation of Parliament to the Council of State for a period not exceeding 14 days”, says the new law.
If the Prime Minister wants to prorogue parliament for a period exceeding 14 days he “shall seek the approval of Parliament before making such a recommendation and such prorogation shall not exceed 60 days”.

That way, a sitting Prime Minister who has lost support in parliament will not resort to using parliamentary processes to dodge the bullet and stay in office.

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