PATRIOTIC Front chairperson for legal affairs Brian Mundubile says the Patriotic Front agrees with the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) position that the Constitutional Court did not deal with President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility for the 2021 election.
Mundubile, however, insists that President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021 because he will have only served one term of office by then.
Last week, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) said the Constitutional Court did not deal with the eligibility case of President Lungu.
In an interview, Mundubile said the party concurred with LAZ’s position but insisted that President Lungu was eligible for 2021.
“Our position as PF Party is that President Edgar Lungu had only served one term of office as per ConCourt Judgement in the Danny Pule case. As PF party, we have consistently argued with those individuals and organisations that have been misleading the public that President Lungu was not eligible to stand in 2021 because he had already served two terms of office and is therefore barred by the Zambian Constitution. We are also alive to the fact that there are several eligibility criteria for one to stand as President and one of them is that a Person wishing to stand as President of the Republic of Zambia must not have served two terms of office,” said Mundubile.
“One side of the argument was that President Lungu was ineligible to stand in 2021 because he had served two terms of office, our side of the argument was that he was eligible because he had not served two terms of office in so far as the law was concerned and the Constitutional Court agreed with our position. We therefore agree with the position taken by LAZ that the only issue the Court dealt with decisively in its judgement was that of the term of office because questions of the other eligibility criteria were not brought before the court and in our view the other eligibility criteria may not be in issue because President Lungu will not be contesting as President for the first time.”
Responding to a press query, LAZ president Abyudi Shonga said the ConCourt did not deal with any other eligibility criteria.
“It is the position of LAZ, according to the Constitution of Zambia as amended by Act No. 2 of 2016, the President of Zambia may only serve two terms. Further, it is LAZ’s position that there are several eligibility criteria for a person wishing to contest for the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. One of the criteria is that the person must not have served two terms prior to attempting to contest. It is common knowledge that the Constitutional Court was called upon, in the cases of Reverend Danny Pule and others vs Attorney General and others, to determine whether President Edgar Lungu was eligible to stand for the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia in 2021,” said Shonga.
“Apart from a pronouncement that the presidential term served between the 25th of January, 2015 and the 13th of September, 2016 cannot be considered a full term, it is the position of LAZ that the Constitutional Court did not deal with any other eligibility criteria. Our opinion on the qualification or lack thereof of any potential candidate can only be based on the criteria passed by the law and on being presented with certain facts that may bring the qualification of such a candidate into question. The position as at now is that the only issue we are aware of is the issue of the full term which the court dealt with decisively in its judgement which is binding.”