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Lesotho Political Tension ‘Reduced’

FILE - Army personnel man outside the military headquarters in Maseru, Lesotho, Aug. 31, 2014.

The spokesman for Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said political tension in the Southern African kingdom has reduced after senior security officials left separately on vacation. The trips abroad are part of a peace agreement mediated by South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Lt. General Tlali Kamoli, who is accused of orchestration an attempt to overthrow Thabane’s coalition government, left for Uganda, General Maaparankoe Mahao head of the army, left for Sudan while, Lesotho police commissioner Lhotatso Tsooana went to Algeria as part of the deal.

“The tension that was in the country during their presence is slowly easing, and people are beginning to feel that some sort of calm has descended over the country,” said Spokesman Thabo Thakalekoala.

He said the coalition government is functioning smoothly after all political parties signed a deal to reduce tension in the country following sharp disagreements in the administration that led to an attempt to overthrow Thabane’s government.

“The only challenge faced by the coalition government is that the deputy prime minister has since distanced himself away from the business of government, but at times he attends cabinet meetings,” said Thakalekoala.

Rival parties in the coalition government, however, accuse Thabane of a power grab and bullying opponents in the administration after he fired and suspended the salary and benefits of Communications, Science and Technology minister, Selibe Mochoboroane for insubordination.

Thakalekoala disagreed with the accusation, saying the prime minister exercised his mandate as enshrined in the constitution.

He said Ramaphosa is scheduled to arrive in the country next week ahead of plans to dissolve parliament in early December to enable the electoral commission to prepare to administer fresh elections in February.

“Next week is the deadline for the dissolution of parliament, so it is possible that when gets to Lesotho next week he will definitely ask the prime minister to advise the king to dissolve parliament,” said Thakalekoala.

Meanwhile, Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission began preparations in the run up to the February elections after parliament is officially dissolved next week.

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