Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili (born March 14, 1945) is the Prime Minister of Lesotho, and has been since May 29, 1998. He led his party, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), to a near-total victory in the elections held that year. Mosisili also serves as Minister of Defense.
In 1993, Mosisili was elected to parliament from the Qacha's Nek Constituency and became Minister of Education. On April 14, 1994, he was briefly kidnapped along with three other ministers by soldiers; a fifth minister, Deputy Prime Minister Selometsi Baholo, was killed in this incident. Mosisili was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in late January 1995, while remaining Minister of Education; on July 20, 1995, he was named Minister of Home Affairs and Local Government instead, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. A new ruling party, the LCD, was formed in 1997 under the leadership of Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle as a split from the Basutoland Congress Party. On February 21, 1998, Mosisili was elected leader of the LCD after Mokhehle chose to step down due to poor health.
After his party's victory in 1998, there were accusations of vote rigging and mass protests from the opposition parties, which culminated with their occupation of the grounds to the palace. In the ensuing debacle which saw the army, police and king complicit in an attempt to unseat his government, Mosisili had to resort to asking the regional grouping, Southern African Development Community (SADC), for an intervention to stem the imminent coup. New elections were eventually held in May 2002, which his party won, this after a major split led by his former deputy, Kelebone Maope, and Shakhane Mokhehle, the brother of the late founder of his party. On this occasion, Mosisili was elected to a seat from the Tsoelike constituency, receiving 79.2% of the vote; in his previous constituency, Qacha's Nek, Pontso Sekatle was the LCD candidate.
In October 2006, Tom Thabane left the LCD and formed a new party, and 17 other members of parliament joined him; this left the LCD with a narrow majority of 61 out of 120 seats. On Mosisili's advice, King Letsie III dissolved parliament on November 24, 2006, and new elections were scheduled for February 17, 2007; they had previously been expected in April or May. The LCD won this election, taking 61 seats; the National Independent Party, allied with the LCD, won an additional 21 seats.
Whilst attending a funeral in his home district of Qacha's Nek in late 2006, Mosisili gave a speech which quoted a Basotho idiom, "Se sa feleng sea hlola", meaning "anything that does not finish/end is not good". Some believed that he was referring to his term in office and his embattled political party.