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Lungu for 2021 call gets louder

MONICA KAYOMBO, Ndola & PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
THE Patriotic Front (PF) leadership on the Copperbelt has joined those in other regions that have endorsed President Lungu’s candidature for 2021 presidential election.
Provincial vice-chairperson who is also Ndola mayor Amon Chisenga said in an interview yesterday that the Copperbelt is one of the provinces that endorsed the candidature of President Lungu because it is constitutional.
“I wish to state that the Copperbelt is behind those that have endorsed President Lungu for 2021. Contrary to what others are saying, this is not a third term because he never served three years when he was first elected as Zambia’s republican President,” he said.
Mr Chisenga said the debate must be put to rest because the republican Constitution is clear on the matter.
“The amended Constitution provides in Article 106 sub-section six (a) and (b) that: to have served a full term as president if, at the date on which the president assumed office, at least three years remain before the date of the next elections,” Mr Chisenga said.
Section (b) of the sub-section six of Article 106 further states that a president is said not to have served a term of office as president if, at the date on which the president assumed office, less than three years remain before the date of the next general election.
Mr Chisenga said President Lungu did not serve three years when he succeeded late President Michael Sata for people to claim that he served a full term.
President Lungu has declared that he will stand as PF presidential candidate in 2021 if the ruling party adopts him.
And the MMD has condemned calls by the United Party for National Development (UPND) for President Lungu to resign for saying he is eligible to contest the 2021 presidential election.
Spokesperson Raphael Nakachinda said it is unwise for the UPND to fail to understand the issue being debated.
Mr Nakachinda said in an interview yesterday, there is no need for President Lungu to resign for merely exercising his democratic right.
“We should not be scared as a democratic nation to debate any matter. There is no sacred subject to be avoided; there is no need for the President to resign. Let’s just debate the issue objectively – is the president eligible to stand in 2021?” Mr Nakachinda said.
Meanwhile, Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma says President Lungu’s eligibility to contest the 2021 elections is backed by the new republican Constitution, KELVIN CHONGO reports in Lusaka.
“We have welcomed President Lungu’s declaration that he will be available to contest the 2021 polls if the PF retains him,” he said in an interview.




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