Lesotho's embattled prime minister appeared far from quitting after the attorney general advised him that he could not be forced to resign despite a scandal over his former wife's murder.
Thabane can only be removed from office by a vote of no confidence in parliament, the attorney general said.
"In the circumstances it would be unlawful if the prime minister is forced out of office through a process that is not sanctioned by the constitution.
"It would be unlawful to force him out of office without following the requirements of the law as that would amount to a coup," said the attorney general.
Thabane's deputy in the ABC party, professor Nqosa Mahao said: "The crisis has been created by the attorney general's advice because he is essentially advising the prime minister not to resign."