Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Zambia: Apex court orders ministers to exit office ahead of elections

Zambia’s constitutional court ruled on Monday that all cabinet and provincial ministers should vacate office ahead of the August 11 elections, adding that if they remain in office they would be breaching the law.

After parliament was dissolved in May, Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu said that an amendment to the constitution allowed the ministers to remain in office until the election, but the constitutional court over ruled this decision

The country’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party said it will abide by the ruling.

Today's decision ... gives credence to a robust and independent judiciary that Zambia has where the courts can enter judgements against the state

President Lungu is facing stiff opposition challenge and the main oppostion candidate has voiced concerns over the credibility of the vote.

“We need a free, fair, transparent and credible election and UPND is winning this election. Lungu knows that, that’s why his panicking, that’s why his behaving in a brutal way”, said Hichilema Hakainde the United  Party for National Development flag bearer.

However, African Union (AU) observers say the campaigning process has been favourable to both the ruling and oppostion parties, despite a 10-day suspension in July over violence.

Africa’s second biggest copper producer will hold presidential, parliamentary and local elections against the backdrop of slowing growth.

Analysts say the economic problems faced by residents in the southern Africa county as well as power cuts and price hikes in the capital Lusaka ,have fuelled public discontent and may help Hichilema win the election.


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