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Speaker warns MP

SPEAKER of Parliament Tlohang Sekhamane on Tuesday warned a United for Change (UFC) MP that he risks losing his seat if he crossed the floor. Mohlominyane Tota, who is the UFC’s only MP, had told Sekhamane in a letter last Thursday that he intended crossing the floor to the opposition.

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Tota had told the Speaker that from last Friday he would “change my sitting arrangements (sic) in this honourable House to a seat that I deem as comfortable enough to conduct my duties”.

Sekhamane responded to his letter on Tuesday warning him that an MP “allocated a seat (through) proportional representation, shall vacate that seat if the member resigns as (a) member”.

He also told him that if the resigns from the political party under which he was elected he cannot cross the floor but will simply kiss parliament goodbye.
He told him that he can only remain an MP under the UFC until he dies or becomes disqualified for being a member under the electoral law.

“If a vacancy occurs in respect of a seat allocated to a party under proportional representation, the Speaker shall appoint the next person on the party list contemplated in section 51 in order of preference,” Sekhamane said.

Sekhamane said he had two points to make in replying to Tota’s letter.

First, he said Tota’s letter is not clear in terms of exactly what it is that he intended to do.

Sekhamane said it seemed to him that Tota’s intention was to move from the government side to the side of the opposition.

Tota made his way to parliament after his leader, ’Malichaba Lekhoaba, landed a job in Sao Tome and Principe and decided not to be sworn-in as an MP.
Tota, as the next candidate on the UFC proportional representative list, took the seat.

The UFC secured only one Proportional Representation seat after the 2022 general elections.

Lekhoaba made it abundantly clear that she supports the Sam Matekane-led government but Tota took a different stance once he entered parliament.
This is not the first time that Tota wanted to be on the side of the opposition.

Last year, Tota ganged up with the opposition to oust Matekane through a vote-of-no-confidence, which has since been challenged in the High Court.
The case is pending.

This saw Lekhoaba coming back into the country to state that her party is still supporting Matekane’s government.

Majara Molupe

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