By McDonald Chipenzi

I have heard my good friend Chilufya Tayali saying he needs Article 52 specifically to challenge HH’s bid to become republican president in 2021 in the Constitutional Court since he has not held a convention with his party to re-elect him.

I have perused through the Constitution including Art 60 and have not found any provision anywhere where it is provided that anyone presidential candidate who has not undergone through a convention is ineligible to contest the republican presidency, which if it was there, would have disqualified even Tayali himself.

But on what basis will Tayali anchor his nomination petition challenge against HH’s Presidential Bid in 2021 in the Constitutional Court, other than exercising his democratic right and politicking!

Art 100 of the republican Constitution outlines the qualifications and disqualifications for nomination as republican Presidential candidate and clearly don’t mention holding of a convention, as important as this may be, as a disqualification.

In addition, HH participated in the 2016 General Election held under the 2016 Constitution which will apply even in 2021 and HH squarely fulfilled them in 2016 without any challenge.
So, what new development in the Constitution will prompt Cde Tayali to run to court to challenge HH’s nomination if it’s not just political rhetoric!

The difference, however, between HH and any other presidential candidate and President EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU in terms qualifications and disqualifications in 2021 General Election is the added disqualifications outlined in Article 106 (3) to a sitting Republican President.

Art. 106 (3) adds to one more disqualification to a sitting Republican President thus: “A person who has twice held office as [Republican] president is not ELIGIBLE for election as [Republican] President”, in this case in 2021 for President Lungu.

This is where some people, including John Sangwa, SC who has already drafted the nomination petition challenge and sitting put on his laptop, come in to lodge a nomination petition against President Lungu’s candidature in 2021 using Art 52(4).

This is the difference between HH, any other presidential candidate and the candidature of President Lungu who has held office twice as Republican President.

The same applies to Republican Vice-President, Mrs. INONGE WINA, who is also disqualified to be runningmate in 2021 General Election under Art 111(3), in addition to the disqualifications and qualifications out lined in Art 110(2).

Under the provision of Art 111(3), it emphasises that “A person who has twice held the office of [Republican] Vice-President shall not be SELECTED as a runningmate”, in this case in 2021 General Election for Bo Inonge.

It is yet to be seen what issues cde Tayali will bring to fore to challenge HH’s 2021 presidential bid and it must be an interesting reason away from the Constitution.
I submit.


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