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The ABC is at a cross-road



THE appointment of Dr Pinkie Manamolela as the deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) this week is coming at a time when the embattled party finds itself at a crossroad.
By assuming the deputy leadership position in the ABC, Dr Manamolela will be expected to unify a party that has struggled to put up a united front since the departure of Thomas Thabane as party leader in May last year.

Hawks within the ABC have refused to back new party leader Nkaku Kabi who was elected into his position earlier this year. There are still pockets within the ABC that have remained loyal to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro even though his influence within the party has gone down.

The result is that the ABC is approaching the next general election bitterly divided. Its chances of retaining power at the ballot box remain extremely low unless the factions rally behind a single candidate.

With a key election looming in October, time is fast running out for the ABC to participate in the election as a united front. Here is a party that is running government but is now likely to risk squandering its advatages of incumbency. Any other party in power would have exploited such power.

Rather than consolidate its gains won over the last five years, the ABC finds itself fighting against its own, to the detriment of its own electoral aims. It is therefore no surprise that the ABC’s long-suffering supporters are praying that Dr Manamolela will now play the role of a unifier to bring the two warring sides together.

But if any of the leaders are big headed and refuse to heed the calls for unity, the party faces an electoral whitewash come October.

The ABC will be up against a rejuvenated Democratic Congress (DC) party that still remains the darling of the masses in rural areas, thanks to the pro-poor social programmes introduced under the party’s tutelage 15 years ago.

It will also have to contend with Sam Matekane’s newly minted Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) that has the momentum at the present moment if their rally attendances are anything to go by.

Without putting a united front, the ABC will be dead and buried come election time. Surprisingly though there are individuals who still insist they could go it alone without the other faction. They are dreamers.

Kabi and Majoro might as well be remembered as the two individuals who failed to reunite a party when it was clear that the party was facing an existential threat. It should be in the interests of the two to clear their differences and rally behind a single candidate, who in this case is Kabi.

Kabi must however first acknowledge that his party’s push to oust Majoro as Prime Minister has failed dismally and now is the time to mend bridges to save the party. That in our opinion was the main stumbling block. But it has become clear to the hawks in the ABC that Majoro is not going anywhere before the election. It is now time to smoke the peace pipe.

Each day that passes without the two finding each other, brings the prospect of defeat for the ABC closer. Once it is ousted from power, the route back into political office will be long and torturous.

The ABC might be remembered as a party that had a golden opportunity to change the lives of Basotho for the better but squandered such an opportunity by failing to resolve petty differences.
Voters will likely punish the party at the polls come October.

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