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Lesotho PM Thabane leaves television studios after resignation address

Lesotho PM Thabane leaves television studios after resignation address”

Lesotho's National Council was scheduled to meet on Monday 18 May with the country awaiting an announcement from either Thabane or the King Letsie III.

Lesotho's embattled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said on Monday he is stepping down, ending months of political uncertainty gripping the kingdom since he was accused of having a role in his ex-wife's murder.

"I chose to personally come and inform you that I am stepping down as the Prime Minister of Lesotho", Thabane told his supporters of his Abia home constituency.

Both Mr Thabane and Maesaiah Thabane have denied any involvement in the murder. He says his resignation is due to his advanced age.

Thabane had been expected to resign by the end of the week but he appeared to be defying the wishes of the new coalition.

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Thabane had filed for divorce from Lipolelo when she was shot dead near her Maseru home on the night of June 14, 2017. Among his immediate tasks as prime minister will be to pass the budget and revive the economy.

The 80-year-old did not state when he would officially quit and clarified that he would remain the leader of his ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party for the time being.

The succeeding government, led by Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress party, was also rocked by divisions.

That left Thabane no choice but to leave in a historic smooth transfer of power without a no confidence vote or elections. The attack occurred just two days before Thabane was sworn in for his second stint as prime minister.

There is no indication that Thabane could be charged with murder as a co-conspirator, but others speculate he brokered a deal before stepping down in order to avoid being charged. His retirement means he could now stand trial.



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