CrisisWatch Lesotho

Unchanged Situation

Political tensions ran high as opposition tabled motion of no-confidence in govt, prompting security forces to threaten intervention.

Opposition 16 Oct submitted motion of no-confidence against PM Sam Matekane’s govt, with 61 MPs out of 120 in parliament pledging support for motion; vote deferred after Matekane resorted to court to challenge move. Police and army same day called on opposition not to go ahead with no-confidence motion, saying they would only work with current govt. Security forces 18 Oct briefly detained leader of opposition party Socialist Revolutionaries Teboho Mojapela. Matekane 26 Oct wrote to Southern African Development Community (SADC) arguing that opposition’s move aims to “subvert our democratic norms and principles” and could usher in period of “political uncertainty”. Opposition parties next day wrote to SADC highlighting threat of military coup, as well as harassment of Mojapela and other opposition figures. South African outlet News24 31 Oct reported that Matekane had gained support of opposition party Basotho Action Party, with their six seats returning parliamentary majority to his control and seemingly ending prospect of no-confidence vote.

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