ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka has suggested that the petition seeking an interpretation on whether President Edgar Lungu can run for a third term in the August 12 elections be dismissed with costs.
Kalaluka has argued that the petition will prejudice the Head of State because there are few days remaining for presidential candidates to file their nomination papers.
The chief legal advisor of government argued that the interpretation of Articles 106(1)(3) and (6)(a) and (b) in so far as they relate to the eligibility of President Edgar Lungu to contest the August 12 general election as a presidential candidate has already been decided upon by the Constitutional Court in the Danny Pule case.
He also said Article 70 of the Constitution was clear that a member of parliament vacated or lost his seat when the individual was serving a custodial sentence.
Kalaluka has since opposed the petition by Katuba UPND member of parliament Bampi Kapalasa and Lusaka resident Joseph Busenga seeking an interpretation on whether President Lungu can contest this year’s general election after being sworn into office twice.
Kapalasa and Busenga’s petitions have been consolidated following an application by Busenga that the cases be joined and heard at the same time, in order to utilise the Court’s resources effectively and efficiently as they raised similar questions.
However, Kalaluka has filed a notice of intention to raise preliminary issues at the next sitting for the Court to determine whether or not Articles 106(1)(3) and (6)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act no.2 of 2016 being sought by the petitioners had been decided upon.
This is in reference to the case of Dan Pule and three others vs the Attorney General, PF secretary general Davies Mwila, UPND secretary general Steven Katuka and the Law Association of Zambia in which a selective judgment was delivered in 2018.
Kalaluka also wants a determination on whether the court has the power to determine the petition as it had already pronounced itself on the eligibility of President Lungu in the Danny Pule case.
He has prayed that the court quickly disposes of the matter as it has a bearing on the holding of this year’s elections.
“The court may want to take notice of the Electoral Commission of Zambia electoral calendar for the general elections which shows that the payment of nomination fees for aspiring Presidential candidates is slated for May 1 to 9, 2021,” said Kalaluka.
“If this application is not determined as a matter of urgency, it has potential to prejudice the targeted individual in these proceedings.”
The Matter comes up on May 3 before the full bench of the court for the hearing of Kalaluka’s application.