Acting President Guy Scott has admitted that the Patriotic Front (PF) was facing a daunting challenge of resolving the unprecedented predicament of having two candidates jostling for the party’s presidential ticket for the forthcoming presidential by-elections.
Dr. Scott said that it was unfortunate that the ruling party was faced with such a serious challenge that needs to be urgently dealt with.
He was speaking in Kabwe at the just ended parallel general conference of the ruling party held at Mulungushi Rock of Authority where Commerce Deputy Minister Miles Sampa emerged victorious after beating four other contestants.
Dr. Scott could neither confirm nor deny that he would call for a central committee meeting to consider issues aimed at averting a major split of the PF after only three years in power.
On Sunday November 30, one faction elected Defence Minister Edgar Lungu as party president while another one held elections on Monday, December 1, 2014 and elected Mr. Sampa as president.
Both presidents have been declared presidential candidates by their respective factions for the presidential by-elections slated for January 20, 2015.
However, PF national chairperson Inonge Wina obtained an injunction to stop Dr. Scott from holding the parallel general conference until the matter is heard in the Lusaka High Court on December 2, 2014.
But Dr. Scott said he would endeavour to restore peace in the party he founded with late President Michael Sata.
The Acting President demonstrated this effort by rejecting calls made by a PF Councillor Christopher Shakafuswa to expel Defence Minister Edgar Lungu and nine other senior party officials for what he termed gross indiscipline.
These include PF national chairperson Inonge Wina, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba and Tourism Minister Jean Kapata.
Others are Willie Nsanda, Davies Mwila, Benson Chali , Fabian Chikoti and Sturdy Mwale.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili has since appealed to Dr. Scott to urgently convene a central committee meeting to address the PF presidency and looming split in the party.