Moeketsi Majoro has been sworn in as Lesotho’s prime minister following the resignation of Thomas Thabane.
Thabane’s decision to step down came amid mounting pressure over a case in which he and his wife are suspected of involvement. The case is the 2017 murder of his estranged wife. They both deny this.
The move cleared the way for Majoro, a seasoned economist and Lesotho’s former finance minister, to take the reins.
Thabane attended Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony at the royal palace of King Letsie III. He handed his successor a copy of the constitution to formally signal the transfer of power. The men tapped elbows instead of shaking hands, and Majoro wore a face mask as a precaution against coronavirus.
During the ceremony, Majoro said he will be a true and faithful prime minister. Majoro has previously worked as an executive director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Related: Thomas Thabane officially resigns as Lesotho’s Prime Minister
Thomas Thabane also apologised for his shortcomings during as prime minister during the ceremony. “In as much as I tried my level best to serve His Majesty and Basotho [people] with dedication and loyalty. I may have inadvertently erred in several ways during my tenure as prime minister. Consequently, I sincerely wish to ask you to forgive me for my mistakes”.
Maesaiah Thabane was absent from the swearing-in ceremony.
Majoro’s main objective as PM
Majoro has also served as planning minister under Thabane. He is seen as a technocrat, better at analysing economic data than soothing tensions between rival political factions.
Majoro promised on Wednesday to usher in “a new version” of leadership and “bring back their people’s trust to government”. He also promised to make tackling COVID-19, poverty, and unemployment his main priorities.
Majoro will serve out Thabane’s remaining term before the next round of elections in 2022.