Basutoland Congress Party

The Basotho Congress Party ( BCP, formerly Basutoland African Congress and Basutoland Congress Party, on Sesotho Lekhotla la Mahatammoho, German as: "party of cooperation ") is a party in Lesotho. It was founded in 1952 and introduced from 1994 to 1998 the government.


Founded as Basutoland African Congress and first parliamentary elections

The Basotho Congress Party was founded in 1952 under the name of Basutoland African Congress (BAC ) as the first party in the former British colony of Basutoland. The name recalled the African National Congress ( ANC) in neighboring South Africa with which the BAC also worked politically. The first chairman was the teacher Ntsu Mokhehle, the 1952 Chairman of the Basutoland National Teachers ' Association ( BANTA ) was. Another founding member was Potlako Leballo. Mokhehle was dismissed because of his activities as a teacher, but found it so more time to devote himself to party work. Among other things, the BAC argued for a secular education system. The BAC found many followers in the cities and along the few roads, but broke down the traditional barena, the Catholic Church, the South African apartheid government and the colonial authorities against him. Approximately 1957 left some traditionally minded members the party and founded the Marema Tlou, later Marematlou Freedom Party ( MFP). In December 1958, the party was renamed the Basutoland Congress Party. 1959 formed also with the help of BCP - deviants the Catholic and anti-communist oriented Basutoland National Party ( BNP). Leballo left in the same year, the BCP and participated in the founding of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC ) in South Africa. At the same time the BCP turned away and the PAC by the ANC to and received financial support from Maoist China.

At the first general election in 1960, the BCP won 32 of 40 freely elected mandates and won in six of nine districts. An additional 40 seats, however, were awarded to barena and other conservative people, so that the BCP was no majority support for their policies. Instead, the BCP was given tasks in rural areas, which helped her there to build the party. 1965 was the second general election held in Basutoland. The BCP was only the second largest party after the BNP. She went with the future King Moshoeshoe II and the MFP a marriage of convenience in order to delay the independence and thus the BNP away from the power, but failed because of the resistance of the colonial authorities and the support of the South African Government for the BNP.

From the independence of Lesotho to the end of the military dictatorship

After Basutoland became independent in October 1966, under the name of Lesotho, the BCP changed its name to the Basotho Congress Party. The elections in 1970 - the first elections after independence - won the BCP Ntsu Mokhehle by absolute majority. However, the then Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan by BNP declared the election results null and void. He called a state of emergency, had several BCP leader arrested and ruled the country from now on autocratic.

After failed negotiations with the government BCP politicians tried to Mokhehle 1974 a coup; they failed, however. Mokhehle then went into exile in Botswana, later to Zambia and finally to South Africa. Part of the BCP under the former Vice Chairman Gerald Ramoreboli remained in Lesotho and come to terms with the BNP. Also 1974 178 BCP near men were chosen, who were trained in the training camp of the PAC in Libya for guerrilla fighters. They formed the Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA ), which should bring down the BNP government. From 1979 she carried out over a hundred terrorist attacks in Lesotho. The South African government gained the LLA and Mokhehle for covert operations in Lesotho, which had granted in the meantime ANC members asylum. Mokhehle lived for some time on the farm Vlakplaas where a secret unit of the South African Police fought against opposition South Africans. In September 1985, to be held parliamentary elections in Lesotho. However, they were boycotted by all opposition parties, including the BCP. After the military coup on 20 January 1986 against Jonathan, all political parties were banned. But Mokhehle and his followers were allowed to return to Lesotho in February 1989. For this, the LLA was dissolved.

Since 1993

Only in 1991, two years before the end of military rule and before the upcoming parliamentary election in 1993, political parties were permitted again. The BCP won under Ntsu Mokhehle with 74 percent of the vote, thanks to the electoral system, all 65 seats in the National Assembly, so that Mokhehle was elected Prime Minister. 1994 coup the King Letsie III. against the government, after which she was ousted a few weeks. Due to pressure from home and abroad, the government force fell back to the BCP. Within the BCP Group created several groups that were at odds with each other. 1997 Mokhehle left with about two-thirds of the deputies, the BCP and founded the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD ), which won the parliamentary election in 1998 by a large majority. The BCP group of Maporesha was henceforth led by Tšeliso Makhakhe, Qhobela Molapo and finally Ntsukunyane Mphanya. In 1998, the BCP about ten percent of the votes and no seat In the 2002 elections, the party won only 2.6 percent of the vote, but turned according to the reformed suffrage three of the 120 deputies. At the 2007 elections, they could keep the number of mandates under the name Alliance of Congress Parties ( ACP), in the elections of 2012 BCP received nurmehr a seat

Program and structure

The BCP was in the first years of its existence, a left-, pan-Africanism Party, which sought independence Basutolands. The motto is Toka Ho Sera Le Motsoalle, German: "Justice for friend and foe ."