Thursday, June 25, 2015

Zambia: Group files petition to extend president stay to 5 years

A petition filed by private citizens before the Lusaka High Court today seeks to postpone the planned presidential elections next year while giving President Edgar Lungu a full five-year term.
However, since this news was made public, members of the government have come forward to denounce the petition as a fake.

Lungu, who was elected during the last presidential elections on January 20, was serving out the remainder of the five-year term of the late President Michael Sata, who passed away in the fall of 2014.

According to a copy of the petition viewed by Zambia Reports, President Lungu of the Patriotic Front party deserved a full five-year term of office and the petitioners are asking the High Court to accordingly uphold his term of office and not to discriminate against him because his election was prompted by the vacation of office.

The petition was submitted by the law firm of Messrs Robson Malipenga and Company, who was formerly known to have represented the former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba in his tribunal matter and also for representing the Voluntary Separatee Association of Zambia (VSAZ) in a contentious dispute with the government. Malipenga submitted the petition to extend Lungu’s presidency on behalf of his clients Richard Mumba, Simemeza Syachikwe and Wright Musonda.

The petition claims that Zambia is not obligated to hold another presidential election in 2016, which would cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, when President Lungu was duly elected in a free and fair election and should be entitled to a full five-year term.

The petition addresses the interpretation of articles 23 (1) and (3) 28 (a) 38 (1), 34, 35 (1) and (4) (c), 67 (1), 88 (6) (a) and nullifaction of article 35 (4) (c) and 88 (6) (a) of the Constitution for being discriminatory for an elected President through death or resignation of incumbent President. The claimants also argue that Presidential elections are independent of National Assembly elections.
The petition is likely to draw fierce resistance from Zambia’s opposition which is hoping to compete in the 2016 contest.


No comments:

Post a Comment