Lesotho Prime Minister resigns

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Lesotho’s embattled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane on Tuesday formally announced his retirement during a public broadcast.

“The right time to retire has finally arrived,” he said.

Thabane did not mention the ongoing investigation into the murder of his first wife, Lipolelo, which has led to repeated calls for his resignation.

The investigation was opened in January.

Thabane’s present wife Maesaiah has been charged with murder and attempted murder and currently on bail.

Thabane also appeared in court in February in connection with the murder, but was not charged.

Police said at the time of his court appearance that he would be charged alongside his wife because they had a common purpose.

However, Thabane did not mention whether he was going to be charged in his resignation speech, but thanked his wife and family for their ongoing support.

He also promised to back his successor.

The 80 year old Thabane, who has had a long political career in the tiny mountain kingdom surrounded by South Africa, announced his intention to retire from politics in January.

He has since come under increasing pressure to step down.

The formal resignation came shortly after the Council of State, which advises King Letsie III, instructed him to resign and named the current Finance Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, as Prime Minister-designate.

Thabane told supporters in his home constituency of Abia on Monday that he had stepped down as premier, but not as Head of the party.(dpa/NAN)

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