Presidential eligibility case judgment welcome

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Dear Editor,

THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt)  headed by Justice Hilda Chibomba last week ruled that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is eligible to contest the 2021 general elections.

The presidential eligibility matter was petitioned by some opposition political party leaders.

These include National Congress Party (NCP) president, Peter Chanda and Christian Democratic Party president, Dr. Dan Pule among others.  The landmark verdict or rather judgment by the ConCourt has finally put to rest the contentious issue which had dragged for some time.

The judgment was based on determining whether President Lungu has served two terms of office or not regarding his eligibility to contest the 2021 general elections.

This follows the demise of Zambia’s fifth republican president, Michael Chilufya Sata on 28 October 2014 and the subsequent election of President Edgar Lungu on January 20, 2015.

According to the current constitution, the presidential term of office is defined as a period of five years or any period not less than three years.

President Lungu served from January 2015 to August 2016; which is one year and seven months.

This period does not constitute the presidential term. In other words, he was just finishing late president Sata’s presidential term. Given the above scenario, President Lungu has not served two terms. He is therefore eligible to contest the 2021 general elections.

The landmark judgment by the ConCourt on the eligibility case has elated most Zambians and the opposition party leaders who petitioned.

This judgment must be respected by all Zambians. Ultimately, this would bring sanity to our political dispensation.   It is now time to work and develop the country because this is not the time for politicking.

ELEMIYA PHIRI, Lusaka.

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