All Basotho Convention
|Split from||Lesotho Congress for Democracy|
|Colors||Yellow, Red, Green|
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The All Basotho Convention (ABC) is a political party in Lesotho. The party was formed in October 2006 and is headed by Tom Thabane, a former minister in the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) led government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
A total of 18 members of parliament crossed the floor to join the ABC in opposition on October 13, 2006; these included Thabane and 16 other former LCD members, along with one independent, Lehlohonolo Tšehlana, who had previously been expelled from the LCD.
The 18 members of parliament joining the ABC, along with their constituencies, were:
- M. Maliehe (Butha-Buthe)
- Sello Peter Maphalla (Hlotse)
- Mokholane Pita (Maputsoe)
- Lijane Edwin Selikane (Mosalemane)
- Matooane Mokhosi (Bela-Bela)
- Clement S. Machakela (Mahlatsa)
- Mabuo Kojoana (Thupa-Kubu)
- Seeiso Simon Sehloho (Mabote)
- Lehlohonolo Mafaesa (Stadium Area)
- ’Mapheello B. Tšuluba (Qoaling)
- Molobeli Bernard Soulo (Lithoteng)
- Tom Thabane (Abia)
- Molebatsi Khaile (Qeme)
- Freddy Rantelali Shea (’Maletsunyane)
- Retšelisitsoe Ranooe (Kolo)
- Seabata Joseph Monare (Qhalasi)
- ’Nyane Mphafi (Thaba-Tseka)
- Lehlohonolo Tšehlana (Mokhotlong)
The ABC thus became the third largest party in the country's National Assembly. The ruling party was left with 61 of the 120 parliamentary seats, and ABC leaders expressed the expectation that more LCD members would defect, which would have given the opposition a majority. In late November, parliament was dissolved and an early election was called for February 2007.
ABC has attracted local musicians who had given up hope on Lesotho by making a life in the neighbouring country (South Africa). Among others, jazz artists Ts'epo Tshola and Bhudaza Mapefane, and famo artists artists namely Selomo, Chakela and Mants'a. The new All Basotho Convention is believed by young people to have changed the political situation of this country whereby elections and politics in general were viewed as "senior citizens' business."
ABC contested the 17 February 2007 Lesotho general elections. It was anticipated that it would win the majority of the urban constituencies. The party won 17 constituency seats, falling far short of the 61 seats won by the LCD.
- "Lesotho holds elections for new gov't", Associated Press (CBS News), February 17, 2007.
- "18 MPs Cross the Floor in the National Assembly to Form New Parliamentary Party", Summary of Events in Lesotho - 3rd quarter 2006, trc.org.ls.
- "New Lesotho political party formed", AFP (IOL), October 13, 2006.
- Bethuel Thai, "Lesotho will go to the polls in February 2007", Reuters (IOL), December 1, 2006.
- "Win was not fair - opposition", AFP (IOL), February 21, 2007.