LUSAKA Lawyer Joseph Chirwa says after reading the judgement of the Constitutional Court, it is clear that President Edgar Lungu is eligible for 2021 because he has only served one term.
In an interview, Chirwa said the duration of President Lungu’s stay in office the first time he was elected does not constitute a term of office.
“After reading the judgment of the Constitution Court, [it] is [clear] that the President is eligible. The court was asked whether the time from 2015 to 2016 amounted to a term, the court ruled that, that was not a term. Based on the ruling of the court, I conquer with it that President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021. I don’t know whether the President Lungu wants to stand or he doesn’t want, it’s up to him. This is a person who has already stood, he knows the political terrain, so instead of going to look for another candidate, he should be the one to stand,” said Chirwa.
“The beauty of being a lawyer is that you are allowed to express your own opinion. There is politics and what the law says. When you start advising a party on what it should do then I don’t think you are speaking as lawyer but as a politician. The Central Committee of the PF endorsed President Lungu as the presidential candidate for 2021 as the highest authority, so whatever ordinary members say does not carry weight. And the President has not said he doesn’t want to stand.”
On Monday, Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa, State Counsel, said with the defeat of Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019, his next assignment was to make sure that he challenged President Lungu’s nomination next year.
“Well, even if Bill 10 had succeeded, I already told you that we had plan B on challenging Lungu’s nomination. That has not changed. In fact the only thing that has changed is that we are going with the original plan. Thea petition is already written and polished, I am just waiting for the date when the President will file his nomination, that’s it. The law is very clear that the man doesn’t not qualify and so with the downfall of Bill 10, my next assignment is to challenge his nomination,” said Sangwa.