Muluzi tips Lesotho on coalition government

Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi, who has been leading the Commonwealth Observer Group in Lesotho’s parliamentary elections,  has advised political parties in that country that coalition government — a first-time experiment for Lesotho –  making process should not be frustrated.

Muluzi’s advise come in the wake of a hang parliament after Sunday’s inconclusive election.

The former Malawi leader who is also Africa’s Goodwill Ambassador on Governance and Human Rights said 2an election is a process, and often the Election Day goes without incident, but it is usually the post-election period which raises issues.”

Muluzi noted that after the poll results, there is a hang parliament as no single political party garnered enough seats to form a government alone.

Muluzi: Led Commonwealth observers to Lesotho

“This, as we all know, calls for the formation of a coalition government in the coming days,” he said, having has a similar experience himself when he was in power and after handing over to his handpicked successor late Bingu wa Mutharika.

He noted that coalition government is “a new terrain” for Lesotho but that the country choose democracy and should “allow democracy to prevail.”.

“I have constantly emphasised the need for a smooth, peaceful and credible transition,” said Muluzi who ruled Malawi from 1994 top 2004.

“ I have asked the stakeholders, particularly, the political party leaders, to guarantee that parties will be given an opportunity to nominate a speaker if they wish. This process needs to be fair and impartial to all parties,” he said.

Muluzi said once all nominees are identified, parliament can then vote for the Speaker who has the confidence of the majority of the elected representatives.

“There must be no attempt to frustrate this process by any procedural means,” he said.

“I depart The Kingdom of Lesotho with the fervent hope that the assurances stakeholders gave that the transition process will be credible, will be followed through, so that the will of the people is respected—and thereby consolidating the democratic gains the Kingdom has made to date,” said Muluzi.

Muluzi said though the Commonwealth Observer Group leaves the mountainous southern African country, he reassured Commonwealth’s ongoing engagement and readiness to support Lesotho as it continues on the path of democracy.

Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) Chairperson Aloisius Nthenda was also in the team to monitor the polls.

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