Embattled Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane is reportedly refusing to resign until the date that he set for himself, the end of July.
But constitutional law experts say the new prime minister could now be sworn in even if Thabane didn’t resign
The 80-year old appears to have tricked his opponents by signing the agreement to form a new coalition with the opposition Democratic Congress (DC) so that he can demand to head that coalition.
Sources within Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party said he now wanted to remain leader of the ABC/DC coalition and prime minister reneging on the understanding that Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro would take over.
But constitutional law experts differ on whether he can stay
Some say the National Assembly process was definitive in deciding that he no longer enjoyed a majority and set the wheels in motion for the appointment of a new prime minister
This view argues that this is the basis on which the speaker declared a transition and that as soon as the speaker gives the name of the nominated successor to the king, the new prime minister can be sworn in and Thabane can be removed unceremoniously.
However, other experts said only Thabane’s resignation would trigger the process for his successor to be sworn-in.
And if he doesn’t resign, MPs will have to wait until 22 May to remove him with a vote of no confidence.
Whatever happens next will show how powerful the position of the speaker is as stated in the Constitution.