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Prime Minister Mosisili leaves Lesotho ruling party

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Tuesday resigned from the faction-riven Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) to join a new movement.

“I was shaking as I wrote a letter of resignation from the LCD,” Mosisili told journalists after leaving the ruling party.

“I have mixed feelings as I leave this party, because this is the only party that I have had the opportunity to lead for the past 15 years.”

He would remain prime minister of the tiny kingdom surrounded by South Africa, while the LCD becomes the main opposition party.

Mosisili’s departure is a result of a fallout with the LCD national executive committee, after prolonged factional squabbles since 2008.

“For the past two years I have tried every effort to save LCD from falling apart, but all in vain,” he said.

The new party, formed on Saturday, has gained a slim majority after garnering support from 45 members of Parliament from 80 constituencies in Lesotho’s 120-member Parliament.

Mosisili said he would not sack the ministers who refused to defect with him, saying “it is up to their conscience to resign or remain in Cabinet”.

It was the second time Mosisili has crossed the floor, having defected from the Basutoland Congress Party under leader Ntsu Mokhehle in 1997, to form the LCD party which he just left. — Sapa-AFP

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