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11th Parliament holds special meeting

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – Today will witness the “special meeting” of the National Assembly of the 11th Parliament.

It will be the first meeting of the house after being summoned following the recent national elections held on October 7.

This is according to the memo issued by the Clerk of the National Assembly Advocate Lebohang Maema King’s Counsel (KC) last week.

“Following the publication of the Election results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) under Legal Notice No. 100 of 2022 dated 13th October 2022, You are kindly informed that His Majesty King Letsie III has summoned the Special Meeting of the National Assembly of the 11th Parliament of the Kingdom of Lesotho to meet on Tuesday 25th October 2022…,” reads the memo.

It is expected that the Clerk of the august house will conduct the swearing-in of the incoming Members of Parliament (MPs) will happen, after which they will elect the Speaker. The Speaker will then preside over the business of electing the Deputy Speaker.

Section 63 (1) of the Constitution provides that: “There shall be a Speaker of the National Assembly who shall be elected by the Assembly either from among the persons who are members thereof or from among other persons.”

As the structure of the Lesotho Parliament is bicameral, the Lower House is part of the Parliament and it has a total of 120 members of which 80 are elected at the constituencies and 40 are elected through the proportional representation (PR) party list.

The 11th Parliament already has a business to pass the outstanding bills which collapsed on account of the judgment by the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal as they held that they were passed during a period when the parliament was sitting unlawfully.

Also, outstanding is the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2022, famously known as the Omnibus Bill which not only Basotho are looking forward to its passing as well as other reforms work but also the international community.

Meanwhile, the Senate will also be summoned at the time to be communicated.