THE NEW PRIME MINISTER OF LESOTHO IS SWORN-IN

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Country News

History was made on Friday when Lesotho's new Prime Minister, Mr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane was sworn-in by Chief Justice, Mahapela Lehohla at the event staged at Setsoto Stadium, Maseru.

Their Majesties King Letsie III and Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso, SADC Executive Secretary Mr. Tomaz Salomao, members of the diplomatic missions in Lesotho, newly sworn-in parliamentarians as well as the public were all there to bear testimony to this event marking history in the entire political arena in Africa.

Mr. Thabane (73) who is also Leader of All Basotho Convention (ABC) took oath in the presence of other members of coalition government that include Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP).

When taking oath, the new Prime Minister promised His Majesty and the entire nation that he will be loyal and faithful in the management of the affairs of the country.

Mr. Thabane who was also presented with instruments of power that include Lesotho's flag and constitution by the out-going Prime Minister, Dr Pakalitha Mosisili (67) also assured the nation that he will freely advise His Majesty to the best of his judgement for growth and development of the country.

In his speech, the outgoing Prime Minister who served the country for the last 14 years, congratulated the new Prime Minister, saying the event marks history as it is for the first time that reins are handed over to the coalition government peacefully.

'I pray to God and hope that this coalition lasts and serve the people well,' he stressed.

He wished Mr. Thabane well, urging all to pray so that God can grant the new Prime Minister strength and good health to be able to serve the nation.

Dr Mosisili thanked His Majesty and his family, fellow politicians and the entire nation for their support throughout the years that he served as the Prime Minister.

''I thank you all for the confidence you had in me,'' he added.

Mr. Thabane has since served the government of Lesotho after the country gained independence from Britain in 1966, following the first elections held in 1965 which were won by BNP under the Leadership of the late Chief Leabua Jonathan.

Amongst others, he has been the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health under the then Prime Minister Jonathan and also served in the government under the military regime that overthrew Jonathan and ruled the country from 1986 to 1993.

He was again the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1991.

He became an advisor to the late Prime Minister Dr Ntsu Mokhehle in early 1995. He subsequently served as the Foreign Minister in the LCD government from June 1998 until June 2002.

He then served as the Minister of Home Affairs and Public Safety from June 2002 until November 2004, when he became the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology.

Mr. Thabane resigned from the government on October 9, 2006, and formed ABC.

His visions at that time included uniting Basotho, not only those from the Congress partie or National Party but the entire nation.

Mr. Thabane succeeds former Prime Minister, Dr Mosisili who served Lesotho as the Prime Minister for the last 14 years under LCD, the party which Dr Mosisili along with his followers left in February this year to form Democratic Congress (DC) party.

Mr. Thabane's inauguration comes a few weeks after the May 26 general polls where none of the 18 political parties was able to win 61 seats enabling it to become government hence ABC which came out with 30 seats proposed coalition with LCD which has 26 seats and BNP with its five seats.

DC led by Dr Mosisili came out with 48 seats with others having been allocated one seat each.

Present at the inauguration of the Prime Minister also included members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), LMPS and various political party members who were dressed in their political regalia.

It is expected that the new cabinet will be formed by next week.

Source: LENA 08/06/2012