Lesotho court declares state of emergency illegal

APA-Maseru Lesotho’ s Constitutional Court has declared last month’ s declaration of a state of emergency by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and the reconvening of parliament by King Letsie III violated the country’ s constitution. The two critical laws were set to be passed by the country’s 10th Parliament but failed to pass them during its regular sitting,…

APA-Maseru (Lesotho) Lesotho’s Constitutional Court has declared last month’s declaration of a state of emergency by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and the reconvening of parliament by King Letsie III violated the country’s constitution.

In a judgement passed on Tuesday, the court ruled that the two laws subsequently passed by parliament after its reconvening by King Letsie had no effect as they were passed by a parliament “with no constitutional authority to debate and pass” bills.

The legal instruments in question are the 11th amendment to the Constitution Bill 2022 and National Assembly Electoral Amendment Act, which are part of electoral reforms demanded by the opposition and the international community.

The two critical laws were set to be passed by the country’s 10th Parliament but failed to pass them during its regular sitting, which ended on July 14.

Majoro had to call for a state of emergency that gave the king powers to reconvene parliament for a week in which the two laws were passed.

Should an appeal by the government fall flat, the country would have to go to polls on October 7 without the two laws.

The case had been brought before the court separately by media activist Kananelo Boloetse who challenged the legality of the state of emergency and Law Society of Lesotho deputy president Lintle Tuke who argued King Letsie III had no legal mandate to reconvene parliament.

JN/APA

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