Patriotic Front legal adviser Tutwa Ngulube has charged that there is nowhere in the law where the swearing in of President-Elect should be postponed in an event of a petition.
Mr Ngulube who was elected as PF Kabwe Central MP said President Edgar Lungu’s inauguration should go in with or without the petition.
He said, “Article 105 states that “The president elect shall be sworn in on a Tuesday seven days after being declared president elect … if there is no petition filed under Article 103. This is the only type of petition which can prevent the Chief Justice from swearing in the president elect.”
“The petition under Article 103 deals with the petition arising out of a Second Ballot or rerun only. Now that President Lungu’s election is not being petitioned in the Second ballot but in the initial ballot or first round, he will be sworn in as President on Tuesday.”
He said the only petition which a First Round President elect can be subjected to is the one provided for under Article 101.
“But this petition under article 101 is not included in the reasons for preventing the chief justice from swearing in the president elect. That’s the reason cabinet office is going ahead with the preparations for Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony including the invitation of presidents from other countries.
Mr Ngulube said the UPND’s petition is based on the demand for voter verification and recount of votes, spoiled Ballots to be counted and given to UPND, the Speaker to act as President and that HH to be declared winner without an election and that the ECZ should surrender their papers to the court and that President Lungu must step down.
“Let us all wait for and respect the Constitutional court to determine the matter as it has now become illegal to make any comments on the same. We must allow the court to be free and fair in its dealing with the court case.”
In a related development, a Lusaka lawyer has filed an application in the Constitutional Court challenging the notion that President Lungu should vacate office and hand over power to the Speaker when an election petition is filed.
An urgent application, by way of originating summons, seeking for an interpretation of Article 104(3) of the Constitution, was filed in the Concourt yesterday.
Celestine Mukandila, a lawyer, represented by Shamwana and Company said Article 101 did not make any such provision, but that such a provision only arose under Article 103 in the event of a re-run or indeed when none of the candidates did not garner the 50% threshold.
The Concourt has been asked to interpret the section as a matter of urgency.
This week, Young African Leadership Initiative Legal Adviser Isaac Mwanza said President Lungu should continue to perform the executive function until the President-elect is sworn into office even after the opposition files its petition against his re-election