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Declare Lungu eligible, ConCourt told

PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka has urged the Constitutional Court to declare that President Lungu is eligible to stand as a presidential candidate in the 2021 general elections.
This is in a matter in which four opposition political party leaders have petitioned the court seeking a declaration that President Lungu is eligible to contest the 2021 presidential elections.
The four are Christian Democratic Party president Danny Pule, Wright Musona of Zambia Republican Party, New Congress Party president Peter Chanda and Robert Mwanza of the Citizens Democratic Party.
In their petition, the four opposition leaders said a political debate has arisen on the tenure of office of President Lungu and his eligibility to stand as presidential candidate in the 2021 general election.
In his submission, Mr Kalaluka said in order to exercise judicial authority in a manner that ensures that justice is done, the court should place undue regard to procedural technicalities.
“We submit that the dictates of justice require the broader and purposive interpretation of Article 106 (5) (b) that gives effect to the objectives if Articles 106 (30 and (6) and 118 (2) (e), as well as those of the Constitution as a whole,” Mr Kalaluka said.
He added : We submit that the purposive interpretation which takes into account the foregoing will lead this Honourable Court to arrive at an inescapable position that the current republican President is eligible to stand as a presidential candidate in the year 2021,” Mr Kalaluka said.
He contended that to argue that the 2015 presidential election does not fall within Article (106) (5) (b) on account of the Speaker not having performed executive functions prior to the 2015 or on any such other procedural issues is in procedural technicality.
Mr Kalaluka submitted that the key issue as regard to the 2015 presidential election is that a vacancy in the office of the President occurred following the demise of the late President Michael Sata and that it was not under Article 81.

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