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Pakalitha Mosisili

 

Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili (born 14 March 1945) is a former Mosotho politician who retired in January 2019. He was Prime Minister of Lesotho from May 1998 to June 2012 and again from March 2015 to June 2017. He led the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), to a near-total victory in the 1998 election, and under his leadership the party also won majorities in the 2002 and 2007 elections. While serving as Prime Minister, Mosisili was also Minister of Defense.
Following the snap election held on 28 February 2015, he managed to form and lead a coalition government. He was sworn in on 17 March 2015.
After his party's victory in 1998 there were accusations of vote rigging and mass protests from the opposition parties, which culminated with their occupation of the grounds to the palace. In the ensuing debacle which saw the army, police and king complicit in an attempt to unseat his government, Mosisili had to resort to asking the regional grouping, Southern African Development Community (SADC), for an intervention to stem the imminent coup. New elections were eventually held in May 2002, which his party won, this after a major split led by his former deputy, Kelebone Maope, and Shakhane Mokhehle, the brother of the late founder of his party. On this occasion, Mosisili himself was elected to a seat from the Tsoelike constituency, receiving 79.2% of the vote; in his previous constituency, Qacha's Nek, Pontso Sekatle was the LCD candidate.
Following the snap election held on 28 February 2015, he managed to form and lead a coalition government. Two years later, on 1 March 2017, he was defeated in a parliamentary vote of confidence, and an early election was expected to be held, although the opposition wanted Mosisili to step aside and allow Monyane Moleleki, Mosisili's former deputy turned rival, to take over. Mosisili then advised King Letsie III to dissolve Parliament, and the King did so on 7 March, despite an opposition effort to obstruct the move.