Immunity from prosecution for Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in the murder of his ex-wife was not discussed in the deal to dissolve his government, a spokesman for a partner party in a proposed replacement coalition said on Monday.
Thabane’s coalition fell apart in parliament on Monday, meaning he will have to leave office on May 22. He is a suspect in the murder of his former wife, but police have yet to formally charge him because he has argued for immunity in court.
“We have verified that the four-party coalition agreement has been terminated and there is a formation of a new government,” Motanyane said.
Sam Rapapa, deputy chairman of Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, said all parties had provisionally agreed on Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro to replace Thabane.
Thabane has been under pressure to resign over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of conspiring to murder his ex-wife. His current wife, Maesaiah has been charged while Thabane has been named as a suspect though has yet to be formally charged. They both deny any involvement.
“The Prime Minister’s prosecution doesn’t fall off and is not part of this deal at all. We are not even thinking of considering it,” Democratic Congress party spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa told Reuters by telephone.
The case has divided his party and triggered sporadic unrest. Thabane had promised to retire but had been dragging his feet on when to do so.
Political instability frequently boils over in Lesotho, which has experienced several coups since independence from Britain in 1966.