Africa-Press – Lesotho. MONYANE Moleleki’s six-year-old grip on the Alliance of Democrats (AD) has come under fierce threat with his deputy Professor Ntoi Rapapa now eyeing his position
Professor Rapapa’s decision to stand for the top leadership post could trigger a bitter factional wrangle that could further weaken a party that slumped to a humiliating loss in last October’s general elections.
Moleleki told thepost last night that the decision by his deputy to accept nomination for the top post could spark bickering in the party. Professor Rapapa, whose popularity in the party surged after he won the Mosalemane constituency last year when Moleleki lost his Thaba-Bosiu constituency, has been nominated for the AD’s top job.
Moleleki said he is worried that “the coming elections of the national executive committee could cause conflicts and factionalism in the party”. “We are now discussing the matter as the national executive committee, we will soon get back to the members with the decisions,” Moleleki said.
He said their party’s national executive committee can only recommend what should be done but “we do not have the powers to stop anyone from contesting, we can only recommend”.
He also said they will only get back to the media when their negotiations on the contested position of the leader are done. Professor Rapapa told thepost that “the conference is free to elect people in all the positions including the position of the leader”.
“The constituencies have sent their nominations and on Thursday we will have a meeting to discuss the way forward,” Professor Rapapa said.
“We will only know officially at our sitting what will happen to pave way to go to the elective conference,” he said. He declined to reveal if he has accepted nomination for the position.
Professor Rapapa also declined to confirm if he will challenge his leader at the elective conference and whether such a decision would fan factionalism in the party.
“We are yet to discuss the way forward,” he said.
“The people who are saying I will be challenging the leader by contesting are talking unfounded allegations, maybe they know what I do not know.
” The party’s deputy spokesman, Masiphole Malebaleba, said they are not sure if Professor Rapapa will go ahead with the decision to challenge Moleleki.
“One might accept the nomination because they feel like they are powerful,” Malebaleba said.
“Wise people refuse to accept nominations in the challenges that they will not win,” he said.
He cited his own case and Thuso Litjobo, the party’s spokesman, in their previous conference where they were squaring it off to be the party’s spokesperson.
“I decided to compromise and gave him the opportunity, now we are working very well with him,” he said.
“It would be wise for all the members not to rush into positions they are not fit for.
He referred to the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible where a son squandered his fortune and when poverty struck him he remembered how he was well-off in his father’s house.
He said when party members challenge the leader they could quickly find themselves in the same condition with the prodigal son after losing all what he had.
“When his inheritance was over, he came back home to his father.
” Malebaleba also said those nominated should “analyse to see if accepting the offer would not be political suicide”.
He said Moleleki is only in his first term and should be allowed to finish it up. “It is now up to Rapapa whether he continues or not. ” The Moleleki group has Monyane Moleleki as the leader, deputised by Mokoto Hloaele.
The secretary-general is Rethabile Marumo while the treasurer is Thabo Ramatla. Thuso Litjobo has been nominated for the chairman’s position deputised by Moleboheng Makhata.
In Professor Rapapa’s group he is the leader, deputised by Mokoto Hloaele. Tieho ’Mamasiane has been nominated for the post of secretary-general. Thabiso Lebese has been nominated for the post of treasurer while ’Maboiketlo Maliehe has been nominated as the chairperson.
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