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Lesotho PM Thabane says he will resign on Wednesday: report

FILE PHOTO: Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, prime minister of Lesotho addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonJOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will leave office on Wednesday, clearing the way for a solution to a political crisis that erupted…

FILE PHOTO: Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, prime minister of Lesotho addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will leave office on Wednesday, clearing the way for a solution to a political crisis that erupted late last year, he was quoted as saying in an interview with AFP.

His spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Thabane’s coalition fell apart in parliament on Monday, and he was required to step down by the end of next week to make way for a new government.

The prime minister had been under pressure to resign over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of conspiring to murder his former wife nearly three years ago. They both deny any involvement.

AFP quoted him as saying he would inform King Letsie III of his intentions in a letter on Wednesday.

Police named Thabane and his current wife, Maesaiah, in the murder case late last year, triggering a political crisis as he came under pressure to step down. He had been resisting it until his coalition collapsed on Monday.

All parties have provisionally agreed on Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro to replace Thabane.

Maesaiah has been charged in the murder case, while Thabane has been named as a suspect though he has yet to be formally charged. Lawmakers said he was not offered immunity when he signed the deal to dissolve the government.

Members of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) and opposition parties had been heaping pressure on Thabane to step aside, as had Lesotho’s bigger neighbour, South Africa.

Reporting by Tim Cocks; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker

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