Thomas Thabane has now formally resigned

Lesotho’s coalition government has collapsed, leaving Prime Minister Thomas Thabane without enough seats to continue governing, the parliament speaker has announced, adding that Mr Thabane had to step down by 22 May.

The 80-year-old leader has been under pressure to leave office for months after he and his current wife were accused of orchestrating the murder of his estranged wife, Dipolelo Thabane.

Dipolelo was shot several times outside her home in 2017, on the eve Mr Thabane’s inauguration.

Mr Thabane and his current wife Maesaiah have both denied any wrongdoing.

Many in Lesotho believe that Mr Thabane has spent the last few months trying to lobby those in power for immunity from prosecution.

But it doesn’t seem like that will be happening.

A spokesperson for Mr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), Montoeli Masoetsa, has told the BBC that Mr Thabane will not be receiving any protection from the law.

“Our stance is that like all citizens, he must stand trial and clear his name there,” he said.

Mr Masoetsa said the prime minister and all his ministers are expected to leave their posts in the coming days – and a new prime minister would be sworn in as soon as possible.

“There is officially no government in Lesotho and that needs to be addressed so as to ensure stability. We are working on making sure that happens,” he said.

Dipolelo’s murder case is still before the courts.

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