The Socialist Party has accused the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) of engineering the withdrawal of United Progressive Party (UPP) Kabwata parliamentary candidate Francis Libanda from the January 20th election.
Addressing the media in Lusaka yesterday following the withdrawal of Mr. Libanda’s candidature from the Kabwata by-election race, Socialist Party General Secretary Cosmas Musumali alleged that the UPND engineered this resignation because it has been facing challenges to sell its candidate Andrew Tayengwa who has allegedly been rejected by the people of Kabwata.
Dr. Musumali said that with this resignation, the UPND is well aware that according to the law, the Kabwata by-election will have to be canceled and the process started all over again.
Dr. Musumali claimed that the Socialist Party is aware of 2 new candidates that the UPND will choose from to replace Mr. Tayengwa when the new election date is announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia(ECZ).
Dr. Musumali has since appealed to the ECZ to treat the Kabwata case differently and allow the candidates who are already on the ground to continue with their campaigns and the election to go ahead.
The UPP candidate Francis Libanda withdrew his candidature from the race citing failure by the Commission to act on a candidate whose credentials and origin have been questioned by his own political party as the reasons for his withdrawal.
Mr. Libanda said the silence from the law enforcement agencies to arrest the questionable candidates who have undue influence against other candidates because of their past dealings especially the PF candidate Clement Tembo who was involved with the Presidential Empowerment Scheme has also forced him to resign.
Mr. Lilanda said he did not want to be part of a corrupt scheme working against the will of the process.
Meanwhile, Socialist Party President Fred M’membe has said that ECZ is on very firm grounds in not allowing fresh nominations in the Kabwata parliamentary by-election following the withdrawal of the UPP candidate, adding that they used the absurdity rule and not the literal interpretation of the statute.
Dr M’membe said that the absurd result principle in statutory interpretation provides an exception to the rule that a statute should be interpreted according to its plain meaning.
“In an age of increasing debate about the proper approach to statutory interpretation, and of increasing emphasis on literal approaches, the absurd result principle poses intriguing challenges to literalism and to theories of interpretation generally.
“The absurd result principle is extraordinarily powerful. It authorizes a judge to ignore a statute’s plain words in order to avoid the outcome those words would require in a particular situation.
“This is a radical thing; judges are not supposed to rewrite laws. Ordinarily, such actions would be condemned as a usurpation of the legislative role, an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Even when a genuine question exists about the actual meaning of the statute’s words, it is generally considered to be illegitimate for a judge to make the choice between possible meanings on the basis that the real-life result of one meaning strikes the judge as somehow objectionable.
“The absurd result principle apparently gives just that power and authority to a judge. Yet this principle enjoys almost universal endorsement, even by those who are the most critical of judicial discretion and most insistent that the words of the statute are the only legitimate basis of interpretation.
“They have also further covered themselves well by rejecting the withdrawal. Which they have the right to do. It’s like in the case of an employer rejecting an employee’s resignation.
“Probably that is why the chairperson of ECZ is a very senior judge,” Dr M’membe wrote.
M’membe and team. Let’s see the evidence of what you are saying. You are so obsessed with UPND and HH even when you had your post. HH was the number one target. Wynter calls you gay and you are quite. Lungu closes the post and you quite. Any small thing with HH, you talk non-stop.
Mr. Libanda said the silence from the law enforcement agencies to arrest the questionable candidates who have undue influence against other candidates because of their past dealings especially the PF candidate Clement Tembo who was involved with the Presidential Empowerment Scheme has also forced him to resign. THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR THE WITHDRAW. THIS COWARD SHOULD CONTEST AND WIN SO THAT HE CAN BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO GOOD GOVERNANCE.
Another accident involving sda Church members has led to the death of people. Why are so many sda members dying? Could this be further sacrifices for upnd election victory?. God protect us !
The socialist party are a bunch of useless peasant farmers their claims of upnd being behind the withdrawal of upp candidate just lacks substance…
The UPND party of the New Down Govt was advised at nomination day to reconsider the adoption of Andrew Tayengwa, but refused. They have realized late the weakness of their candidate. Clement Tembo is the darling of the people of Kabwata Constituency. Not only that the Kabwata by-election is a litmus test for Bally’s turnaround on election promises. He promised people to lower the cost of living yet the complete opposite is what he’s implementing. BMW!!!
The UPND strategy is premised on the hope that once a candidate withdraws, as per existing law, fresh nominations are in order. This, therefore, gives them an opportunity to dump a clearly unpopular candidate they have in Kabwata and adopt a more popular one. The tricky part for the UPND is that if they do this, it will merely confirm the suspicion many of us have that they engineered the UPP candidate’s withdrawal.
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