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MR MOTANYANE ELECTED SPEAKER

 Former Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Sephiri Motanyane is back on the seat to head the 10th Parliament of Lesotho.

He was elected by a special meeting called by His Majesty following snap elections that Lesotho held on June 03 as a result of a vote of no-confidence motion against Dr Pakalitha Mosisili as Prime Minister and the then coalition government which was formed of seven-parties.

Mr. Motanyane began his first address as the Speaker of the 10th Parliament by expressing his gratitude and accepting nomination however saying his presence there feels like home coming.

He confessed that when he was approached for the position, he thought hard about the offer because he felt he had had enough contribution in this country's democracy, hence his days in this position were over.

'I also felt that my decades of experience in this office comes with high level of responsibility and expertise, especially when one comes in the footsteps of highly spoken of Speakers who also set the bar high,' he said.

He however said it finally came to his mind that serving as the Speaker of Parliament is actually serving the nation, hence his acceptance and readiness to ask God for strength and wisdom to successfully steer the chamber well.

He pledged to serve the nation without fear and favour, to maintain impartiality bearing in mind to observe right of debate of Members of Parliament (MP) under his stewardship.

To the MPs, Mr. Motanyane made a call that the rhetoric that characterised the campaign must now come to reality, adding that even when passions become inflamed, accommodation and tolerance must be their best bet.

He appealed to MPs to speak, act and behave as honourable as they are, as law makers not law breakers and upholding the dignity of the House.

Addressing the coalition partners, the Speaker warned that they are faced with huge challenges when it comes to maintaining lasting peace for this country and they must seek no revenge in everything they do, but promote good governance, observation of human rights, inclusive reforms and addressing socio-economic problems.

'Together you can build a country you are all proud of, if you make addressing socio-economic problems central because a country that depends on handouts never graduates from poverty. If you can focus on the seven pillars in the Lesotho 2020 document which are development, democracy, unity, peace, education and training, economic growth, management of environment and technology, things will work out,' said Mr. Motanyane.

He said unless there is political will and commitment to work on the pillars they will only remain illicit, also raising what he said is another worrying factor which he said is low representation of women, disabled and other vulnerable groups in the House.

This address was followed by taking oath of allegiance by the Speaker.

He is deputised by Alliance of Democrats (AD) Spokesperson, Mr. Teboho Lehloenya.

Mr. Motanyane came as the fourth Speaker of Lesotho National Assembly after Walther Stanford in 1966 who was the first post independent Speaker, followed by Mr. Teboho Kolane who became the Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly in 1990 to 92, then Ms. Ntlhoi Motsamai, the first female Speaker in 1999 to 2012 and 2015 to 2016.

Then Mr. Motanyane got the position in 2012 to 2015 when the All Basotho Convention (ABC) led government was toppled.

 

Source: LENA 12/06/2017

 

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