ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka says there is no need for any amendment to the Presidential Candidate/Running Mate affidavit.
According to the petition, the new version of Affidavit for Presidential Candidates/Running Mate has omitted or neglected to include the mandatory requirement of Article 106(3) which compels respondents to swear that ; “I have not twice held office as President”.
The Attorney General said this in his answer to a petition filed by Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa.
Sangwa petitioned the court, seeking an order that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) be commanded to amend the Presidential candidate/Running Mate affidavit.
He argued that the affidavit in its current version does not meet the requirement of Article 52 of the Constitution.
Sangwa is challenging Statutory Instrument No 63 of 2016 which was published in the Gazette on August 12, 2016.
But Kalaluka has filed an answer and also raised two preliminary issues.
He stated that Sangwa’s prayer for amendment of the affidavit does not take into account Article 106 (6) of the Constitution and the Constitutional Court’s pronouncements in the case of Dr Dan Pule and Others vs the Attorney General, Davies Mwila (PF Secretary General), the Law Association of Zambia and Stephen Katuka (UPND) and Bampi Kapalasa and Joseph Busenga Vs the Attorney General cases in which President Edgar Lungu was declared eligible to contest the August 12 General Elections.
Kalaluka argued that Sangwa’s petition seeks to grant the court jurisdiction to draft legislation which jurisdiction directly flies in the teeth of Article 62, 128 and 177 of the Constitution.
“Accordingly, this court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition,” he stated. “It is not a mandatory requirements to include the provisions of Article 106(3) of the Constitution of Zambia in the affidavit for Presidential Candidate/Running Mate Form No, Gen 4 as the said Article 106 (3) relates to the tenure of Office of President which is not provided for under Article 100 of the Constitution.”
And Kalaluka in the alternative, has argued that the part on the affidavit which states that: “I qualify for nomination as a Presidential Candidate and the disqualifications in Article 100 (2) do not apply to me” confirms that all the Constitutional requirements relating to the nomination of a Presidential Candidate have been met.
“In the premises, there is no need for any amendment thereof,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kalaluka argues that there has been an inordinate delay on the part of Sangwa in challenging the constitutionality of Statutory Instrument No 63 of 2016.
The Attorney General therefore, wants the court to determine whether or not the allegation/contention that the affidavit for Presidential Candidate/Running Mate Form No Gen 4 prescribed by the Electoral Process (General) Regulations SI No 63 of 2016 promulgated on August 12, 2016 does not meet the requirements of Article 52, is out of time contrary to section 67 (3) of the Constitution.
Kalaluka also wants the court to determine whether or not Sangwa, by seeking amendment for the affidavit for Presidential Candidate/Running Mate in order that it includes words: “I have not twice held office as president” is inviting the court to exercise the jurisdiction of drafting legislation contrary to Article 62, 128 and 177 of the Constitution.
“That the said challenge can only be entertained by this court if instituted within 14 days of the publication of the Statutory Instrument in the Gazette in accordance with Article 67 (3) of the Constitution.