Lesotho's deputy premier "takes reins" in absence of PM -minister

by Reuters
Sunday, 31 August 2014 07:38 GMT

MASERU, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Lesotho's deputy prime minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, is in charge of government in the absence of the premier, a government minister said on Sunday, a day after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane accused the military of staging a coup.

"Constitutionally, in the absence of the prime minister, the deputy prime minister takes the reins," Selibe Mochoboroane, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, told Reuters.

"For now there hasn't been any arrangement, but it goes without saying the deputy prime minister will still oversee other issues that need to be taken care of until the prime minister returns."

Thabane fled to neighbouring South Africa on Saturday after the army surrounded his official residence and police stations in Lesotho's capital, Maseru. The Lesotho Defence Force has denied attempting a coup. (Reporting by Marafaele Mohloboli; Writing Helen Nyambura; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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