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End of the Road for Lesotho’s Prime Minister

The government of Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has fallen apart in Parliament after his coalition partners withdrew their support, signalling a potential end to a lengthy political crisis that has gripped the country. Announcing the collapse of the government majority, National Assembly Speaker Sephiri Motanyane said on Monday the embattled prime minister would have to step down by May 22, and the formation of a new administration could take two weeks. Thabane’s own All Basotho Convention (ABC) and two other coalition parties on Monday ended their support for the prime minister’s four-party coalition. “We have verified that the four-party coalition agreement has been terminated,” Motanyane said. Sam Rapapa, deputy chairman of ABC, said all parties had provisionally agreed on Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro to replace Thabane. “Thabane is now a caretaker prime minister until May 22 when a new prime minister is sworn in,” Rapapa said. Following intense criticism from political opponents and rivals within his own party, Thabane had promised to retire due to old age – but had been dragging his feet on when to do so.