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ABC in coalition talks

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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Bongiwe Zihlangu

ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Nkaku Kabi, says he is being courted by other party leaders for a possible coalition arrangement after the upcoming October 2022 elections.

But he says he believes it is too early to forge actual coalitions now before the actual results are announced.

With elections in Lesotho failing to produce single party governments in the last decade, Mr Kabi said behind the scenes interactions were already underway among political leaders. However, he had not made a definitive decision about who to work with.  Such a decision would be much easier to make after the polls had concluded and results are known.

“As it stands, we have no partner…but we are talking,” Mr Kabi said.

“We are open to anyone who comes to us expressing their wish to work together.

“I can safely say that all political parties have approached me. But the ABC has not made any decision on who it will partner should there be need for a coalition government.”

Mr Kabi said he had instructed his party’s secretary-general, Lebohang Hlaele, to give all the parties an ear.

“I am not closing the door on anyone. However, it is still too early to talk about any coalition government.”

Mr Kabi said his focus was on the party’s election campaign.

His stance is a departure from his predecessor and founding ABC leader, Thomas Thabane, who never shied away from flaunting his preferred coalition partners ahead of an election.

In 2012, Thabane forged a pre-electoral alliance with the Basotho National Party (BNP) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). In 2015, the ABC had an alliance with BNP and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL). The three parties in 2017 brought the Alliance of Democrats (AD) on board to form government.

Mr Kabi dismissed rumours doing the rounds that he had met with Democratic Congress (DC) leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu, on 22 August 2022 to specifically discuss the details of a possible coalition government. The two parties are the anchor partners in the current coalition government.

Mr Kabi said on that day, he had spent the day with church bishops and had not met with Mr Mokhothu.

“I wonder what that propaganda is aiming to achieve. I never met with Ntate Mokhothu on that day. Not that I am disrespecting him,” he said.

The ABC has had its fair share of coalition governments since 2012 “but this time we are not going to rush it”.

“We have experienced being in coalition governments and know how it all works. We cannot be arrogant and stand here saying we prefer to work with party A over party B.

“We might wish to work with certain parties, only for the elections results to dictate otherwise. That is why we are cautious as to who we are befriending now.

“We have not decided on any coalition partners. But I can assure you that I am fine with everybody. I am fine with Professor Nqosa Mahao, just as I am okay with Mathibeli Mokhothu and Mothetjoa Metsing. I am fine with BNP leader Machesetsa Mofomobe. The same applies with MEC leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, as well as AD leader, Monyane Moleleki.

“Indeed, I went to Ladybrand to support Ntate Metsing after his release because we should support each other. I had coffee with him. But the support I have shown him is by no means an indication of what will happen after the elections. Anything can happen to either of us. I don’t want to be enemies with anyone,” Mr Kabi said.