Lesotho Coalition Partners Reject Agreement to Resolve Strife

Lesotho’s ruling coalition lurched toward another crisis after two out of the three governing parties rejected a proposal designed to resolve the tensions that threatened its survival last month.

The recommendations are unacceptable as they favor the Lesotho Congress for Democracy at the expense of the other parties, Lesojane Leuta, secretary general of the Basotho National Party, said in a phone interview. The proposals don’t address the issues that caused the conflict, Maliehe Maliehe, treasurer of the All Basotho Convention, said by phone.

The agreement, which was due to be signed on July 10, proposes reopening Parliament and tabling a code of conduct and ethics for lawmakers, according to copy of the document seen by Bloomberg News. Maliehe confirmed the contents of the document.

LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing, who is also deputy prime minister, last month started drafting proposals to end the friction between the three parties, which formed a coalition government after the May 2012 general elections failed to produce an outright winner. The South African government said on June 19 it was concerned about the unusual movement of troops in Maseru, the capital of the landlocked African nation.

The former British protectorate, which won its independence in 1966, has previously suffered military coups with South Africa’s apartheid government backing an army takeover in 1986 before a counter coup in 1991 enabled the holding of elections in 1993. In 1998, South Africa dispatched more than 600 troops to the mountainous kingdom of 2 million people as part of a regional effort to quell a mutiny by junior army officers.

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