THE National Constitutional Conference (NCC) delegates have been advised to be judicious as they vote on the 50 per cent plus one clause tomorrow because of the provision’s cost implication and its potential to cause chaos.
And Home Affairs Minister, Lameck Mangani has accused Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata of having grown cold feet because he knows that President Rupiah Banda has become more popular in various parts of Zambia.
Leadership in Development executive director, Moses Kalonde and MMD Eastern Province chairperson, Kennedy Zulu said separately yesterday that the commissioners should take the interest of the nation first.
Mr Kalonde said in a statement in Lusaka that the delegates should be cautious because 50 per cent plus one threshold for a winning president was dangerous and difficult for one presidential candidate to attain.
“The 12 million Zambians have put all their trust in them as delegates. They ought to know that this document, which will be produced, is a very important one,” he said.
He said it was expensive to conduct a rerun in an event where no candidate emerged winner adding that such resources could better be channeled for other development projects like building schools and clinics.
Commenting on the issue from Chipata, Mr Zulu said Mr Sata should not be in the forefront championing the 50 per cent plus one clause because he had refused to be part of the NCC.
Mr Sata was yesterday quoted as saying that the 50 per cent plus one clause in the Constitution is the only way to stop President Banda from dubiously winning the 2011 presidential elections.
The NCC delegates are tomorrow expected to vote on the matter after they failed to reach a consensus last Thursday.
But Mr Zulu said the country should continue with the simple majority system or first past the post because the 50 per cent plus one system could create chaos in Zambia.
He said the delegates to the NCC should drop the 50 per cent plus one clause and should not listen to people who wanted to rush to State House at all cost. Mr Zulu said the commissioners should be wary of people like Mr Sata who wanted to ride on the clause.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mangani charged that the 50 per cent plus one clause for the election of the Republican president did not guarantee democracy and wondered why Mr Sata had all of a sudden grown cold feet despite his claims that he was popular.
Mr Mangani said it was a well-known fact that Mr Sata was scared of President Banda and was now crying the loudest about the 50 per cent plus one clause.
Mr Mangani said the clause could injure both ways and wondered why some critics who did not want to be part of the NCC were now trying to mislead the public by making them believe that the 50 per cent plus one clause was the best model.
He said unwarranted attacks on President Banda would not deter him from delivering on his campaign promises and it was for this reason Mr Sata was now trying to use the 50 per cent plus one threshold to win public sympathy.
[Times of Zambia]