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Maseru
February 26, 2024
LAW & CRIME

WAIT TO SOON BE OVER 


   
Maseru, Feb. 13 — The wait for delivery of a judgment in a case in which a Member of Parliament for Thaba Moea Constituency No. 73, Mr. Lejone Puseletso, is challenging a proposed motion of no confidence in the Government of Lesotho, which will soon be over as the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court is set to reveal its decision on Friday. 

Hearing of arguments in this case was completed in December last year and the court reserved its judgment. 

   
   
The Court has in this matter already ruled that it commands jurisdiction over it. The ruling was made after the respondents raised the issue of jurisdiction and challenged the competence of the court to preside over the matter.     
   
   
The applicant in this case has asked the court to issue an order that the process of passing the vote of no confidence in parliament be deferred pending the conclusion of the reforms process in terms of which the Parliament shall promulgate the comprehensive provisions to regulate the passing of vote of no confidence.           
   
  
He further asked the court to declare the 9th amendment to sections 83 (4) and 87 (5) of the Constitution unconstitutional to the extent that it violates the basic structure of the Constitution per section 1 of the Constitution of Lesotho.           
   
   
In his affidavit, the applicant has stated that without the existence of basic structure, democratic rule cannot exist. He indicated that section 87 (5) (a) of the Constitution provides that the power of the Prime Minister under the old section to opt for dissolution of Parliament in the event of vote of no confidence being passed has been removed.           
   
   
He further indicated that the tenth Amendment to the Constitution was promulgated to address varying issues but are not limited to three-year period before which the vote of no confidence can be passed during the life of the parliament per section 83 (2) (a). He added that the powers that were ordinarily exercised under section 85 (5) (a) have been curtailed in the subsequent amendments to the Constitution, especially the 9th Amendment.           
   
    
The applicant further added that the process and completed amendment has done away with not only the Prime Minister’s rights to dissolve the parliament, but also the right of participation of the public to determine their own government. He said the right to be exercised in forming government has been given exclusively to the members of parliament who no longer get fresh mandate but decide on a blank cheque by themselves as to who should be the Prime Minister contrary to how the electorate had elected.           
   
   
He submitted that if the foregoing prevails pending the promulgation of the Reforms Act and extensive amendments to the Constitution, there is infraction to the basic structure of the Constitution provided for in section 1 of the Constitution.    

The case is before Judges Tseliso Monaphathi, Molefi Makara and Keketso Moahloli. 

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