RAINBOW Party President Wynter Kabimba has said that the Constitution is clear that President Edgar Lungu is eligible to re-contest the presidency in 2021.
Mr Kabimba said in an interview yesterday that the Constitution was clear on the matter of eligibility of President Lungu to re-contest the 2021 general elections.
“You…what does the Constitution say about this matter (President Lungu’s eligibility to re-contest the presidency in 2021) …? It’s very clear… he is eligible…I have said about this matter on several times,” he said.
Meanwhile, former United Party for National Development (UPND) Katuba member of Parliament Jonas Shakafuswa said there was nothing sinister about the President’s declaration to re-contest the presidency because he qualified to stand without any barriers.
“It’s very clear our President is eligible. The problem is that some politicians are looking at this matter with emotions. They know they will lose again in 2021, that’s why they are not being rational. We need to critically understand the Constitution on that provision,” Mr Shakafuswa said.
He said it was naive for some politicians to even suggest that President Lungu should resign owing to his declaration to re-contest the presidency without reading the provisions of the Constitution.
President Lungu, he said, had performed well in heightening development across the country, and there was need for all Zambians to give him another fresh mandate.
And A Political analyst has said that President Lungu qualifies to re-contest the presidency in 2021, stating that provisions in the constitution are very clear.
According to the amended constitution, “if the Vice-President assumes the office of President in accordance with clause (5) (a), or a person is elected to the office of President as a result of an election held in accordance with clause 5(b), the Vice-President or the President-elect shall serve for the unexpired term of office and be deemed, for the purposes of clause (3).”
Political Scientist Alex Ng’oma said in an interview yesterday he supported the declaration by the President that he qualifies to stand in 2021.
Dr Ng’oma urged those aggrieved not to use emotions when debating the matter but refer to the Constitution as the President has suggested.
“What I am saying is that in a democracy all members must not talk emotionally but consult the Constitution,” he said.
Dr Ng’oma said it was wrong for any person to stop President Lungu from standing in 2021 and urged people to understand the matter before making statements.
“It is not by power or might but by the Constitution,” he said.
According to the amended Constitution Article 106 (6) 3 (b), if the Vice-President assumes the office of President in accordance with clause (5) (a), or a person is elected to the office of President as a result of an election held in accordance with clause 5 (b), the Vice-President or the President-elect shall serve for the unexpired term of office and be deemed, for the purpose of clause (3). (a) To have served a full term as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, at least three years remain before the date of the next general election; or (b) Not to have served a term of office as
President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, less than three years remain before the date of the next general elections.
President Lungu said last week that he will stand as Patriotic Front (PF) presidential candidate in the 2021 general elections if the ruling party adopts him because he was eligible to do so.
The President said he wanted to put his eligibility matter to rest by coming out publicly due to some PF members going round mobilizing themselves and their supporters in readiness for 2021.