Small Parties cry foul over Requirements for Presidential Candidate in the new constitution

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Members of Parliament during the opening of Parliament by President Sata on September 19,2014 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
Members of Parliament

SIX opposition political parties have opposed the requirement for total of 1,000 supporters drawn from all 10 provinces as stipulated in the new constitution and described it as retrogressive and undemocratic.

The parties claimed that the requirement was a farce and an abhorrent to democracy as it was mooted by big parties with financial muscle to the disadvantage of smaller parties.

They have since appealed to President Lungu to take it back to parliament for amendments

The six are Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), People’s Party (PP), National Revolution Party (NRP), Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM), Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) and Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) who have all rejected the clause.

Among other qualifications for presidential nominations, article 100 (j) stipulates that a person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person is supported by at least 100 registered voters from each province.

Zambia has currently 10 provinces after the creation of Muchinga by President Michael Sata (late) which translates into 1,000 supporters under the new requirement.

The qualification for previous Presidential elections was for a candidate to go for nomination with 200 registered voters. The parties alleged that the clause was aimed at preventing some political parties which did not have the financial muscle from contesting in general elections by making the nomination process more costly, saying the clause should be re-tabled.

FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said that ferrying 100 registered voters from each of the 10 provinces to Lusaka was unattainable as the exercise could gobble the entire budget for an election for a party.

“This article is irrelevant. It is cumbersome. What are we trying to achieve by unnecessarily raising the expenditure of political parties? Prevent some parties from taking part in an election? This is an assault to democracy and we shall not support it.

PP president Mike Mulongoti said it was not possible for some parties to avail 1000 registered voters, arguing that there was nothing political parties needed to prove about their popularity for them to bring such massive numbers of people during nominations.

And ZRP leader Wright Musoma said the Article had the potential to force other parties which had financial constraints into oblivion because they will never field candidates.

“Who, in his right senses, can support such an extravagant article? Look, opposition political parties are not funded by Government and so, it is only the party in power that has an advantage over this matter because they have all the resources at their disposal,” Mr. Musoma said.

Meanwhile, ADD president Charles Milupi, ZDDM vice president Charles Kafumbo and NRP president Cosmo Mumba echoed the same sentiments saying the Article would have to be re-tabled or the people’s wish for representation would be suppressed.

Article 100 of the amended constitution provides that a person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as president if that person:

-is a citizen by birth or descent;
-has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;
-is at least 35 years old;
-is a registered voter;
-has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent;
-is fluent in the official language;
-has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;
-declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed;
-pays the prescribed election fee on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers;
-is supported by at least 100 registered voters from each Province.

The Constitution Amendment Bill which passed through Parliament last Friday awaits Presidential assent.

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73 COMMENTS

  1. I like this clause. This election is between UPND and PF and not tuma spoliers like the aforementioned parties.

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    • Can the verifications be done at district level to avoid costs of transporting people to Lusaka. If this is is possible, the threshold could be increased to 100 registered voters per district.

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    • How come Gen Miyanda has not complained. This constitution looks very promising as we have too many jokers o the political scene. Die hard!! We wanted people driven, not politician driven…….!!

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    • @Dudelove, I agree with you. It is time these small parties merged to form big opposition parties. Not one man party. The ball is in you small parties. What do you think?

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    • A party that cannot get 100 voters from each province is not worthy its salt. So these small parties want to go against the WILL of the PEOPLE that supported this clause in every district and province!!

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    • This required is contrary to the overall aggregate where the total from all provinces determine the presidential winner. Just thinking loud!

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    • You are right, Dudelove.. We dont need time wasters during next year’s elections.. (FDD), People’s Party (PP), National Revolution Party (NRP), Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM), Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) and Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) must all choose one of the larger parties and form alliances or simply join. We need a max of 3 parties.

      Do these listed parties really think that they can attain the 50 + 1 requirement to win elections, when they are complaining about only 1000 supporters country wide?!!! The answer is a big NO, and they know it, too.

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  2. If you cannot get 10,000 supporters, then on what are you basing your aspirations of getting 3-4 million votes?

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    • It’s actually only 1000 registers voters. Anyone crying foul here must be told off in the strongest terms as this number must even be increased. I’d also add “NO CRIMINAL RECORD’ or is this stated somewhere else?

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    • Point of correction IQ138, its not 10,000 its just 1000.
      I mean if you cant amass 1000 registered voters then you are wasting stationery for the govt. Edith and the other parties should know that politics is not for babies who are just there to make sure that we have re-run. we just want to have a 50 plus one on a one off election.

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  3. This is fine. The Office of President is a serious institute and not a joke, we need serious people with serious minds, serious parties and serious manifestos to run (infact you should have said 20,000). Please Prezo Lungu, you have my backing approve the thing and let’s forge ahead.

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    • Serious people with “serious” minds, “serious” parties and “serious” manifestos to run like Lungu…really laughable.

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    • Jay jay, Continue laughing as common man like me are likelu Lungu more and more. Constitution amendment done with least money spent while Fr. Chiti and all the hoodlums like you were up in arms with Lungu lead GRZ. It is your own to ba laughed at, since we are already settled with our ECL!
      Small parties should just start alligning themselves with PF and UPND who are capable of meeting these conditions. No more spoilers!

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    • We also need Masters degree or the least first degree, not G12, lets be serious about this, educations is a serious issue, moreover metric of this time is compromised…..

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  4. And that is when they have started reading the bill!!! Seriously you don’t deserve to rule Zambia. How many times did the President and many others ask you to read the bill and make representation?

    These chaps are dull, all they thought was 50%+1 and running mate was the new constitution. Serves you right for having the ability to only read text the length of an sms.

    Get on with that. That is the people driven constitution you cried for. At least the race is in now in two parts. Party one, 1000 supporters, party two 50+1. Can’t wait to enjoy the show

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    • I agree. In fact when most Zambians speak about a constitution they are aping what they have been told without understanding it. It is worse for most ignorant MPs who think that it is tailored for their continued stay in parliament. Only the likes of Hamududu deserve recognition when it comes to serious MPs.

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  5. I think on this one, if these parties cannot manage 1000 members, why then do they even want to waste money and ECZ stationary. I urge them to consider joining either the in coming Party in Government UPND or the Out Going PF. The choice is theirs. But please, 1000 is fair. I even wanted 2000. Let or take it. Its better we have two political parties so we dont waste our time on the re-run.

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  6. For the first time since i was born, i support President Lungu on this clause. The small political parties must just contest on the Parliamentary and ward level and not on Presidential, its for real men like HH and the drunkard HIV womiser.

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  7. How can these lot run for Presidency if they were too lazy to interpret the draft constitution….when we tell you to be proactive this is what we mean…Zambian politics is more about self preservation than putting the people’s interests first as clearly evidenced…

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  8. Atleast this article will help government through ECZ to save some money,because I suppose printing ballot papers with eleven presidential candidates was too costly. And the above parties dont ve any realistic or remote chance of posing any serious challenge to PF. Let PF and UPND battle it out without party crushers in the mix.

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  9. M told even big parties have a problem when it comes to running mate. while lungu has a variet our friends seem to have a problem. Elyo they cant go to Nawakwi becoz she suported them now its her time to be suported

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  10. The smart Chipimo, their realistic colleague who read bill, declared long before the documents passed 3rd reading that he would consider for MP until they had done enough mobilization. This is the progressive way to go rather than trying to take the whole nation back. Change or enjoy your journey into oblivion!

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  11. LOOK AT THESE SIX FOOLISH PARTIES NONSES U THINK U CAN WIN PRESIDENCY IF U CAN FAIL TO FERRY 1000 supporters to lusaka. We saw these parties going round the nation campaigning with a large cloud. If anything it shud be 1000 per province to show how serius noise makers are. No more games filya mwale shinguluka muchalo kwati nimpashi. I like this atleast we are moving but increase to 100 per district we see who is who. Show love to every zambian for savivo. One zed one person

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  12. This clause is really progressive we tired of jokers like pachinfentelo. The office of the President is a serious one it has been lowered for too long. Two or three parties are enough for the democratic dispensation in the country.

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  13. YOU FDD ,PP ETC MULATONTONYA FYE BWINO OR U JUST WANT CONFUSION IN THE NATION, PRESIDENT SIGN IT TODAY THEY COMPLAINED THAT IT HAS TAKEN LONG. THIS IS WHAT PIPO WANT WHY CHANGE IT, U WANT IT TO SUIT YO PARTIES NO WAYS BWANA. FDD U BOT FARMERS INPUTS U CAN FAIL TO FERRY CADRES

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  14. Comment:It is now that Mulongoti and his friends are reading the constitution, yet they were in the forefront advocating for a people’s driven constitution. As usual they were playing to the gallary,characteristics of a Zambian politician.

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  15. This is the best way of sieving off tuma small vote splitting political parties. Let all small political parties join big parties so that 50 +1 can be more effective

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  16. This is indeed very funny. Why did these political party leader not look and talk about the clause earlier? Just shows how dull they are.

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  17. PF should be careful the laws that they are putting in place. One they will not be in power and will lack resources. Ask UNIP and MMD. These laws done in bad taste always come to haunt you. Sata loudly supported the “no bail” for theft of motor vehicle when he was in MMD just to punish Veras alleged lover Mactribouy. He was arrested for the same crime by Mwanawasa. Sata also supported the parental clause when he was in MMD just to punish KK and even loudly celebrated in parliament “Kaunda alala alala.” His vice president Guy Scott could not act as president and failed to give Zambians quality leadership when Sata died. Carefull what you wish for because as Miles Sampa said you will be left scratching your heads saying “mwamoneni”

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    • My dear if PF gets to a point where they begin to fail to raise the 1000, that will be their problem. Why should Zambia be carrying unnecessary excess luggage?

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  18. This is it!!!!!!! Now we can see real national parties emerging. I am sure our country is bound to politically move forward. The complaining small parties should now aspire to raise their game in politics if they are serious about improving Zambia.

    I can only support the small parties if they are talking about taking the 100 or 500 supporters for a presidential candidate to a provincial capital in the 10 provinces. The ECZ can afford that cost. As long as the presidential deposit has been paid in Lusaka.

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    • You are the selfsame docile people wjo later come to cry because you like to sit there and just watch!!

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  19. THIS IS THE CONSTITUTION U WANTED MR PRESIDENT JST APPROVE EVERYTHING , THEY WERE THING EDGAR WAS A JOKER U CANT PLAY WITH A LAWYER TIYEE TIYEE

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  20. These chaps like mulogoti is very dull,so all that time president lungu told u to read the constitution were never did so and today u are busy backing like a dog stupid fool after all u are not a factor in zambian politics.all these parties that have apealed are run by jokers who just want to on headline when in there brains there is water.aba bantu ba dwala mupobonyesi thats way they are fools.mike your time is up just keep on doing masterbesion may u can relise sower from salt.teste your biter pill.

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  21. If a political party cannot garner 100 votes from each province then what chance do they have in a national election?
    The ADD, FDD etc of this world only have nuisance value in Presidential elections. Freedom of expression notwithstanding.

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  22. Yaba,bana balalila nomba.UPND will also fail to mobilise in some provinces.kikik pipo’s constitution they were crying for.We told them it’s so easy to make pipo’s driven constitution.Seleni tubombeko.I don’t know whom HH gonna choose between GBM and Can. Banda.

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  23. The complainants are indeed jokers! They are already in self destruct mode.

    Believe me, if the verification of the 100 supporters per Province is done thoroughly and professionally, chances are that even PF and UPND can both fail THAT test. There are a lot of ineligible voters and time is not far off when suddenly no one qualifies to run …

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    • How can they fail when there will be more than 5 MILLION eligible voters. How do you fail to find 100 per province and 1100 in total. Seriously!!!

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  24. This will bring sanity in the whole process ! Last polls saw jokers waiting at the Supreme Court to file in their nomination and yet couldn’t even gather 50 people! Some wants to use this activity as an income generating source! I am shocked that FDD is part of this ! So after all they are not really popular ! And this shows that they don’t know what us contained in the constitution ! They are just after the presidency

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  25. The reason for 50%+1 is the mushrooming of small parties whose only purpose is to get donor money for participating in elections. With this clause we just might avoid re-runs as only serious contenders will be participating in these presidential elections. The rest can try parliament & the councils. Just imagine Edith Nawakwi & Mulongoti as councilors in LCC. Charles Milupi in Mongu.

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  26. It’s like people complaining about the clause to have 100 supporter from each
    province are missing something. It does not necessarily mean that political
    parties will have to ferry these people to LUSAKA during nominations. The constitution
    is silent on that. What i think is that ECZ will be required to come up with provincial
    endorsements, whereby supporter of each candidate in the Presidential elections endorse
    their candidate from their respective provinces. What is wrong with that? For example in Mchinga Province,each presidential candidate may be required to send 100 of their supporters to Chinsali
    to endorse their candidature. The same can be replicated in the remaining provinces. What
    is the fuss with this? Where does the issues of money come in. If you can’t have 100…

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  27. But this is good mwee. Too many tu ma heads on the ballot papers and confusing to my grandmother. 20 presidential candidents awe mwee. This should never never happen again. At least Wynter is not one of the cry boys.

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  28. Failure to read to detail is the issue. More shockers coming. Imagine GBM missing being a running mate to HH. Confusion will immediate get into the party. No more hiding who becomes veep. Transparency bwana will split even bigger parties can wait. People driven constitution.

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  29. I think highly of Nawakwi but its really disappointing to read that her party will fail to organise 1100 people whether they are coming to Lusaka or going to Joburg or Dar shouldn’t be a problem for a party wanting to be in government. Mulongoti and others run one man parties so its not surprising they are complaining.

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  30. This is indeed a Shift in our Politics, ECL is canning watch his monouveres in the coming 90days. This Election will be over before Voting. Remember how the Guy was out done with instruments of power he was check mated.

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  31. Comment:It is now for small political parties to join jiants because they just cause confusions during elections.How can a political party like for Muliokela,Green Party and other small clubs called political parties have a massive supot from each province when even the last presidential by-election became hard for them.This clause is welcome.Nawakwi,Miyanda,Mulongoti and even Nevers should join the UPND.Ba Milupi party yenu taya kateke po.

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  32. When a number of us said most of these parties had not even bothered to read the draft constitution, all we got were insults. All they have been doing is parroting what Father Chiti and his fellow paid greedy chaps have been saying. Now they are in limbo. I’ve said it before, our democracy is still well and alive, so let these chaps join Father Chiti and form a party and advance their cause.

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  33. Good move zed time wasters join other parties or stand as mps it would be interesting miyanda,nawakwi,mulongoti,eric chanda,cozmo in parliament

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  34. How about at least grade 12. I think this should be debated. The world has advanced and anyone with G12 or even some Katemba qualification may not be able to communicate or understand some policy issues. What do you think?

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    • Such a provision won’t help Bemba MPs who seem to go all the way to Copperstone University but cannot speak English. They spend their time in the house insulting in Bemba instead. Maybe there should be an English speaking and logic entrance exam before an MP is allowed into Parliament. What do you think?

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  35. This is a step in the right direction. I now believe that a people driven constitution is something one should not dare play with. Imagine some small parties can even fail to make 1000 national total at the announcement of results. Mr president sign that document now so that they get to know that lawyer tumunobe. U told them to read the document but they were just lazing. If u hesitate, i will come and sign it

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  36. PARLIAMENT PASS THAT CONSTUTION TO THE PRESIDENT WITHOUT FAIL TODAY WE WANT IT SIGNED TODAY. IG SEND POLICE TRAINEES TO HELP LIFT IT TO STATE HOUSE. PROVIDE MAXIMUM SECURITY THESE PARTIES CAN ~ U MENTIONED 6 ACTUALLY THEY ARE 8 WITH UPND + POST NEWSPAPER. JUST JOINED SOME MINUTES AGO. IFINTU TABAKOKOSHA NGA FYA CHITIKA FAST FAST MWAFWATAPO ICHIKUMO.

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  37. Those that are complaining about this clause are time wasters, period! If Nawakwi dreams of ever becoming president of Zambia, how can she fail to raise 100 eligible supporters per province. This should keep time wasters and green stuff smokers away.

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  38. Comment: Do these six parties even hv the presidential running mates. These are some of the parties that never wanted the consititution to go though because the hv no structures to meeting the requirements in the new constitution. They keep blaming PF for putting aside closes that maybe too expensive but they exactly what they are scared of in the new constitution.

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  39. This shows that some politicians just make noise look mr E Chanda and mr msoni can’t even manage 1 person in some provinces yet they are just lazy people in lusaka making noise and have turned their political parties into ngos this country is fifty years old and a political party must have representative in all province’s some of the so called political parties you can only see money laundering nothing political

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  40. Even kabimba a new comer can’t fail to manage that it’s how serious you are and hard work iam very disappointed with nawakwi why being on the list of political fools your party hard more than 1000 votes in a bye election in luapula and you say 5000 zambian small scale famers are on your programme it’s all about work not noise making most of the so called presidents sucks a lot

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  41. Gift Bwalya, you have no manners, not even bad ones. You cannot use that kind of language at a President democratically elected by people. You are an ***** and a fool!

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  42. Well I stand to be corrected, but this article seems to be one of the fewest to have garnered 100% support from bloggers here

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  43. There is still room in the Boat. Those already inside are willing to help you board the boat. Its never too late even on the day of voting we shall appreciate your coming to join. Vote wisely come 2016.

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  44. has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;

    Has bitterman paid all his taxes in full over the years? It will be interesting to see how some people will find themselves struggling with this new requirement

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