Patriotic Front (PF) Youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba has said that the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) is preaching democracy to the already converted.
Kamba noted that FODEP ought to have correctly analysed the position as emphasized by both the Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General (SG) Davies Mwila and supported by PF National Youth Chairperson Stephen Kampyongo is that the General Conference will be held in 2020 at which all Central Committee positions will be open for elections, without exception.
He said nothing stops party structures from rallying behind an incumbent president if he will make himself available, adding that that only thing remaining is for President Edgar Lungu to inform the Party at the right time whether he will be available or not, considering the fact that Party structures have confidence in his leadership.
Below is the entire statement issued by Kennedy Kamba:
31st MAY 2017
MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RESPONSE TO FODEP BY LUSAKA YOUTH PROVINCIAL CHAIRPERSON KENNEDY KAMBA
Lusaka, Zambia – We wish to state that Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) is preaching democracy to the already converted. As stated by the Party leadership before, our democratic credentials as a political party are incomparable to none. Before drawing their conclusions, FODEP ought to have correctly analysed the position as emphasized by both the Patriotic Front Secretary General Hon Davies Mwila and supported by PF National Youth Chairperson Hon Stephen Kampyongo is that the General Conference will be held in 2020 at which all Central Committee positions will be open for elections, without exception.
FODEP knows that nothing stops structures from rallying behind an incumbent if he will make himself available. What therefore remains is for President Edgar Lungu to inform the Party, at the right time whether he will be available, considering the structures have confidence in his leadership.
FODEP also knows that in advanced democracies that incumbents can sail through unopposed. In our case, we have not avoided primaries at all. Those with intentions to challenge the incumbent and in good standing with the Party would be allowed to do so.
We also wonder what advice FODEP would render to the UK where snap elections have been called and none is talking about primary elections for Prime Minister Theresa May. We are aware, like FODEP is, that in the USA, incumbents can sail through unopposed. In the case of PF, FODEP should in fact commend the decision for primaries at the General Conference to be held in 2020 and agree that there is nothing undemocratic for the structures to have confidence in the President if he says he’s available. There is nothing undemocratic about that.
More importantly, we invite FODEP and others to shift their attention to standards of democratic practice in the opposition. This is important because if PF were to take advice from FODEP it should give impartial advice and guidelines to all parties.
We are asking FODEP to respond and guide the Opposition considering that:
UPND has refused to have an elective conference since 2006 and its leader Hakainde Hichilema harasses anyone who demands for an election in the party. The Opposition party calls those making such demands traitors for demanding party constitutional guidelines;
The undemocratic tendencies in Opposition FDD aimed at making Ms. Edith Nawakwi go for a third unconstitutional term and barring of the party’s Vice President
We invite FODEP to remind the Opposition that one man parties that have no democratic processes
Patriotic Front Provincial Youth Chairperson